On the Middle Eastern Refugee Crisis

This Wednesday, I attended a discussion held by Oxford College's Middle Eastern Organization (MEO) regarding the refugee crisis. Quite honestly, I attended the event because my roommate was very interested in going and wanted me to accompany her. However, what I wasn't expecting was the honesty and diverse opinions presented by the group.

The refugee crisis in the Middle East, specifically in Syria, has been going on for years. There have been millions of people displaced without shelter, food, or security. The situation that they have been placed into was unforeseen and unstoppable. No one chooses a life where their family is forced to live in danger. No one chooses a life where they risk everything by simply stepping foot outside of a shelter. No one chooses a life where they are unable to provide basic necessities for their loved ones.

Even though the majority of the population is aware of what is happening in these countries, very little has been done to help out those in need. Coming to this discussion allowed me to gain a better insight on the crisis itself and the reason why so little has been done to help these people. The fact of the matter is that the media and the government of various countries has de-humanized refugees so that the governments can get away with not helping. Even more, this crisis is seemingly worlds away and insignificant to the problems we are facing at home. Furthermore, helping refugees in itself is a political act, something that the majority of Congress is unwilling to face.

I was blown away by the opinions and insights shared by my peers. I truly enjoyed the discussion because it opened my eyes to the various perspectives that people hold and why coming to an agreement on how to help refugees is so difficult. However, what I did learn was that as a general population, we need to become more vocal about our thoughts and opinions. If there is legislation concerning this crisis, write a letter, send an email, or even call your local Senator because this is a real problem, and it isn't going to go away anytime soon unless we do something to help.