Friday, April 17, 2015

My letter to the NYTimes RE U.N. Calls on Western Nations to Shelter Syrian Refugees

Syrian refugees waiting for transportation to a shelter after crossing into Turkey. Nearly four million refugees have poured into the countries bordering Syria — chiefly Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey — straining their resources and plunging displaced people into poverty. Photo Credit Bryan Denton for The New York Times
RE U.N. Calls on Western Nations to Shelter Syrian Refugees

Dear Editor,

With the news this week about the Boston Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev (his family thinks he is innocent and that the attack "was all fabricated by the American special services.")
, as well as recent reports from Italy's police that Muslim migrants had thrown 12 Christians overboard during a recent crossing from Libya it will be hard to convince America to welcome in more Syrian refugees.

We tend to hear and remember the worst news and most titillating stories. The more outrageous and anti-social the crime the more attention it gets.  I can not help but wonder about all the many migrants and refugees from the Middle East who came to America to become loyal citizens contributing positive momentum to American ideals. People like the inspiring poet Kahlil Gibran, and people like Dr. Ziad Asali, a Palestinian American born in Jerusalem who built a successful career here in America and is a Diplomat of the Board of Internal Medicine and a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, as well as the founder of the American Task Force on Palestine which as been trying to get mainstream America, as well as people in the Middle East, to take Palestinian statehood and peace seriously.

Refugee crises in the Middle East have been going on for more than a century, with many innocent men, women and children losing all because of hate campaigns and bigotry. The situation might  become much much worse, but it does not have to be that way. Compassion and kindness and diplomatic efforts have the power to turn things around: Peace in the Middle East can and will be built by people who have been able to break free from the hate campaigns and bigotry, religious extremism, corruption, crime and conspiracy theories that undermine support for the rule of fair and just laws.  Offering safe harbor for some Syrian refugees here in America will increase the chances that their children will be able to get a decent eduction and a better understanding of how to help create real respect for basic human rights and freedom- and real democracy for the people, of the people and by the people.... for everyone's sake.

Anne Selden Annab
American homemaker & poet

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