03 September 2015

For more than two years we have been fed horrific footage from Syria. On our screens, we are shown what a terrible place Syria has become. For more than two years, we could have tuned into expert discussions about who and why and what.
All, ALL!, agreed that civilians are suffering tremendously and beyond our understanding. But for some reason nobody ever imagined that people who have suffered so much will need to escape, that Syria is no safe place for children, for families, for anybody. It was ok as long as they squeezed into the by now hopelessly overcrowded camps in the neighbouring states of Lebanon and Jordan. These are UNHCR emergency camps and for anybody who has never seen one: tents meant for emergency not for long term occupation in all seasons. Anyway, that was ok with us, watching from our comfy European homes. But since these desperate people have started to look for refuge here with us, we quickly shut any legal and safe route, we deny them visa, we will not permit airlines to take them on board, we force them in the hands of smugglers who put them on unsafe boats, into overcrowded vans and who drop them in the middle of nowhere or on the hard shoulder of the motorway. We do all this to protect our homes and our comfy compassionless lives.
All morning yesterday at the Serbian-Hungarian border, I saw Syrian parents determinedly walking with their children – trying to remove them from the horrors of the slaughter in Syria, which have been allowed to continue for four years, and to the promise of security in Europe. Those parents are heroes; I admire their sheer determination to bring their children to a better life.

Please read more here.


  1. I can't even begin to fathom the horror. I cannot. That baby boy looks so much like Gibson.
    I can't.
    Why are people so cruel to each other?

  2. This photo breaks my heart. It is not offensive to post it. It is offensive that the world permits such insanity to persist. We are all humans. Can't we at least be kind to people who are fleeing the violent nightmare of their homelands? The world must look at this photo, at this poor child and then look at itself and ask, "how can we help?" ENOUGH!

  3. Seeing that sacred child, I'm reminded of the photo of the young girl burned by napalm, running down a road during the Vietnam War, and the paintings of Goya as well as paintings of the biblical massacre of the innocents, all of which show us how we are all connected as human beings in the deepest sorrows and not forgetting the joys that are in such contrast to those sorrows. Innocence and experience and the survival of love and kindness through the centuries, against all odds.

    "I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant." –- Martin Luther King, Jr., Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech, Dec. 10, 1964

    Hard to know what to say, but that's what I want to say.


  4. Poor sweet baby and his parents. Who loved him.


  5. I agree more needs to be done. I don't fault the authorities for wanting to impose some order on the process, but it's not enough to just close borders and pretend that carnage isn't happening. Europe's bureaucracy is, unfortunately, very slow to come to consensus and act. (And the USA needs to step up to the plate and do its share, given that American-led wars destabilized that region and helped contribute to this mess.)

  6. The world can be a cruel place, but in the midst of it, there is you. Thank you.