What We Should Be Hearing About On The News
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Politics and Activism

What We Should Be Hearing About On The News

What happened in Syria and how it's affecting the world.

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What We Should Be Hearing About On The News
The Marc Steiner Show

If you've been on Facebook at any point in the past week or so, Donald Trump, the Pope, and "that AIDS idiot" all sound familiar to you. But there's been something going on that hasn't been getting much airtime on news feeds: the Syrian refugee crisis.

Why are there refugees?

In December 2010, the Arab Spring tore through North Africa and the Middle East. Riots, protests, and demonstrations pushed against oppressive governments in places like Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Syria. In some countries, like Egypt, the rulers were replaced. In others, like Saudi Arabia, the protests were small and peaceful. In Syria, however, peaceful protests escalated into a full-blown civil war between the Syrian military and rebel groups as the government cracked down rapidly and violently on the protesters.

To date, over 11 million refugees have left Syria, and almost 8 million have been internally displaced.To put that in context, Syria's population prior to the civil war was about 23 million. To call this a "crisis" is almost an understatement.

Where are they going?

As war ravages the country, millions upon millions of Syrians are fleeing the country. Some are finding refuge in neighboring countries like Turkey; some find their new homes in European nations; others still remain in Syria, hoping to find safety in the refugee encampments which local and international organizations have set up.

Every day, Syrian refugees risk government snipers, rebel army "recruiters" who kidnap young men for their militias, and nature's cruelty on their journeys to foreign lands. Many make dangerous passages across the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean and don't live to see safe shores.

Almost half of the refugees are under the age of 18, and all of them must face the brutal reality of not having the sort of home that we take for granted: water to drink; food to eat; walls to keep out the cold, the dust, the bugs, and other threats; and a school where we can learn, grow, and socialize.

What's being done?

While the European Union, United States, and other wealthy nations provide billions in aid and many countries have opened their borders for refugees, it's still not enough.

Money is being used to open camps, provide food and water, etc. However, the influx of refugees takes a toll on other nations as well. Some countries, such as Greece, are still struggling from past economic turmoil and are barely capable of caring for native citizens, much less refugees. Syrians that can only speak their native language often cannot find jobs (and therefore cannot make money to pay for basic goods and services) in places like Germany or the United States.

But this crisis, the likes of which haven't been seen since World War II, cannot be solved overnight. Maybe someday the efforts will be enough to help those who have fled their war-torn home; who knows? The only thing we know for certain is that, for the time being, they cannot go back.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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