Despite the outrage, there is no end in sight to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Syria. As the war grinds on, very few people have any workable solutions. Even a temporary ceasefire, for which the UN is begging all sides to adhere to in order to allow humanitarian aid in, is almost impossible to achieve -- and looks more distant after Syrian Government forces began closing in on rebel-held territory in East Aleppo over the weekend.
For children living in one of the deadliest places on earth, this lack of safe water is a continuous threat to their survival. Alongside 100,000 children living in east Aleppo, nine-year-old Judy has been robbed of her childhood. Instead of going to school or playing with friends, her life is full of constant stress.
Most U.S. voters seem to believe the lies being fed to them: A public that is encouraged to regard what is happening in Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Afghanistan and Libya as a disconnected array of events in need of Western intervention based on bogus notions of 'humanitarianism' or a 'war on terror', rather than the planned machinations of empire.
Being a refugee isn't fun, you see. It is not an adventure. It isn't an extended vacation at the expense of another. It is a sacrifice. It is a last resort. They may be safe here, but they wish that their own country wasn't at war. They would rather be there than here. Frankly, it sucks that my new neighbours are Syrian refugees.
In the five years since the uprising-turned-civil-war, the Syrian conflict has become the "biggest humanitarian crisis of our time." The United Nations estimates more than 250,000 people have been killed (this figure is widely disputed among various international organizations), while another 6.6. million have been internally displaced.
Today, the world remembers a child who never had the chance to seize life at all. His name was Alan Kurdi. You'll recall him as the little Syrian boy who, was found dead on a beach in Turkey the morning of September 2, 2015. He had stepped into a crowded inflatable boat with his family the night before, in a desperate attempt to each Europe in safety. Alan's death rocked people everywhere -- from families in their homes to leaders in the halls of power. When children like Alan reached out for help, we didn't reach back.
The relentless bombardment on innocent civilians continue with casualties, death and destruction occurring every second. But this is just an ordinary day in Aleppo where simply every place is a target -- mosques, morgues, markets, bakeries, hospitals, ambulances, fire trucks, with absolutely nowhere safe for people to go.
They say that Twitter has created a powerful new way for everyone to engage in political dialogue. I'm not so sure it's a good thing. One has only to look at the dysfunctional American political environment, the rise of Donald Trump and the decline of the European Union to see that the inmates take over the asylum.
If our social media profiles can tint in support of Paris, Belgium, and Orlando, then why not change for Turkey, Bangladesh, and Iraq? Innocent lives taken in Turkey airport, and no vigils, or landmarks, but when an attack of similar degree took place in Brussels we did all of the above. I'm often asked why Muslims don't speak out enough, but perhaps this is something we all need to work on.
Is it too much to ask in the 21st century to self-identify based on the beliefs you hold so dearly? After all, who has the right to tell me who I am and who I'm not? Apparently the Pakistani government does, who have declared the Ahmadiyya community "infidel" and non-Muslim since the infamous ruling in 1974.
The Syrian conflict, now in its sixth year, has contributed to the highest level of human suffering the world has seen since World War II. In Za'atari, I met just a few of the 37 million children of primary and lower-secondary age who are out of school in crisis-affected countries. The impact of those numbers is far-reaching and leaves children in a cycle of crisis.