Wednesday, January 27, 2016

What's Really Going On?

Photo: Philippe Wojazer/Reuters

What’s Really Going On?

I was interested in taking part of USF’s academic global immersion program in Rome because of its focus – refugees, forced migration and human trafficking. In the months before applying for the program, there were many news reports of the Syrian refugee crisis. And although I had heard of the crisis over and over again, I still wasn’t too sure what was really going on in Syria. My hope for the program was to get a better understanding of it all – which it did, and learned so much more!

One of the news reports I remember seeing early on was about a Syrian refugee family who resettled in Oakland. The family of 4 who left everything behind in Syria was now in fear of backlash from Americans after the Paris attacks in November 2015.  And in other reports, it was said that a Syrian passport was found by one of the attacked area in Paris.  There were many similar stories around Syrian families fearing backlash, and how other countries feared terror attacks if they accepted them in – this got me thinking, why were Syrian leaving their country to begin with? I knew there was conflict – but why, what was going on?

Syrian’s Civil War was said to have started in 2011 after a pro-democracy protest erupted when several teenagers were arrested and some killed over political graffiti. Protestors wanted to end all severe authoritative practices that the government was practicing – but protesting only made the situation worse, and caused more violence. It brought in more players, and caused terror in people’s lives. Below is Vox’s timeline of the civil war,  Syria’s war: Who is fighting and why.

As you can imagine, because of the civil war in Syria, many have fled the country. Below are some facts:

  • 4.6 million Syrians are refugees
  • 6.6 million are displaced within Syria
  • Half are children.
  • Most Syrian refugees remain in the Middle East, in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt
  • About 10% of the refugees have fled to Europe