What It Means To Be Human: A Piece on Syrian Refugees


An iridescent flash of light abruptly breaks the calm of everyday life. The bright outburst is instantaneously replaced with an explosion that echoes through your body as pieces of buildings are fragmented and blown all around you. Your thoughts are awakened by blood curdling cries. How can one process this sudden change in their life? Could you even begin to fathom the idea that everything you once knew is now in ruins? How about to feel as though you were robbed of your identity? These are real problems that the Syrian Refugees are trying to combat today.

Today, the Syrian civil war has been occurring for nearly four years. (BBC). According to the CIA World Fact Book the conflict arose when, “protestors [were] calling for the repeal of the restrictive Emergency Law [which allowed for] arrests without charge”. Another major component protestors wanted to get rid of is the idea of “corrupt local officials”(CIA). They also desired to add the political party system to their government. Thus, President Assad used military power in attempts to shut down the difference of opinions. Many may have agreed with this form of retaliation until Assad decided to use chemical weapons on his country. Syria then, amidst war, was suddenly pushed to hover over the fine line of genocide.

Due to all of these tribulations and altercations Syrians have had no other option but to flee their beloved home. Now the issue is who will take them in? Countries all over the world have certain immigration quotas that they do not feel they can go over without taking into consideration the wellbeing of their own nation's economic and social systems. The numbers of Syrians are so vast that many nations feel they could not sustain them in a helpful manner. It is truly hard for so many to grasp the trauma these people have endured as well as the fact that a large portion of them are desensitized by all of the violence.

Organizations such as Humans of New York do a wonderful job of humanizing these victims from Syria. All it takes is a personal story to transform facts into emotions. It seems in today’s society, people tend to forget the emotional aspect of any strenuous event. We do what is human and that is to go about our day and focus on our own lives, our jobs, and our families. It is too difficult to sympathize with those who are not in front of us. One cannot imagine what life would be like if it was simply disrupted in such a horrible way if one is ignorant to the entity of the horrors. Here is a great piece from Humans of New York that explains what a disruption of life is:

‘“The army searched our house six times. The first two times they knocked on the door. The next four times they kicked in the door in the middle of the night. They hit my wife. They shocked me with an electric baton. And my children had to witness all of this. The psychology of my children changed before my eyes. I stopped getting hugs and kisses. They used to watch cartoons and play normal games. Now they only played games related to war. They’d chase each other around the house, shouting: ‘I’m going to kill you!’ I tried buying them an educational kit with cardboard squares and triangles and circles. When I left the room, they broke the shapes and turned them into guns.” (Hegyeshalom, Hungary)’

This shows us that atrocities do not just happen to certain people but could in fact take affect on absolutely anyone. These are average people who lead normal lives. We are average people who lead normal lives; thus we must keep them in our hearts and our actions.