What is The Syrian Civil war?
The Syrian Civil War is a devastating humanitarian crisis. The Syrian Civil War is an ongoing, multi-sided, armed conflict in Syria, in which international interventions have taken place. The war began after the 2011 Arab Spring. The Arab Spring was a protest led by citizens against their government. When this issue arose, this then initiated armed conflict between President Bashar al-Assad, his government and with the people of Syria. President Bashar al-Assad tried to oppress this issue by violently suppressing protests that were typically calling for his removal. The war thus began to be fueled by his movement. The Syrian Civil war is being fought through multiple groups: The Syrian Government and its various supporters, Syrian Arab rebel groups, Syrian Democratic forces, Salafi Jihadist groups, and by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
More than 13.5 million people in Syria need humanitarian assistance due to the violence of the Civil War. With that number broken down, we then have 4.8 million Syrian refugees and 6.6 million of them displaced within Syria, half of which are children. These children are also at risk of becoming ill, malnourished, abused or repressed. Most of these refugees are scattered within the Middle East: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, and Egypt. About 10% of these refugees have fled to Europe in hopes of seeking some sort of safe haven. These Syrian refugees are being forced out of their homes and if it isn’t that, they are being heavily killed. The death count in Syria is currently around 450 thousand. And at the end of the day, these Syrian refugees are just fleeing the same terrorist groups that the United States is.
The Road to Safety
In order to find a safe refuge, a refugee has to go through a very vigorous process. This process is called the vetting process. The vetting process is an intense background check done onto an individual that intends on entering a country. The United States’ vetting process for Syrian refugees is currently both complicated and extremely limited. The process typically takes between 18 and 24 months, and this is once a refugee has been referred to the United States by the UN. A better understanding of the vetting process for Syrian Refugees can be explained by John Oliver:
And here’s a very descriptive picture explaining the process as well:
Compared to the Syrian Refugee intake plan of France which is 30K over the span of 2 years the United States’ intake quota for Syrian refugees is quite small: 10K this year. Not only is it quota small, but the United States is behind in its goal. So far the United States has only accepted 1,285 refugees. It would be ideal if the United States had a bigger acceptance rate, a less vigorous vetting process, and made more effort and put more focus into working towards a solution to the crisis in Syria, allowing for more refugees to be safe from harms ways. If they did so, the United States would then be able to maintain their role as a moral leader and would also knock down discrimination that all Middle-Easterners and Muslims face.
But until then, with this brought to your attention, hopefully you can help make some sort of a difference to these refugees. Down below are so help-relief funds that help Syrian Refugees:
- Syrian American Medical Society provides medical treatment on the ground in southern Syria as well as for refugees in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan. It was ranked as a Silver-level participant on Guidestar’s Exchange, and its 2013 annual report states that only one cent of every dollar went to administrative costs.
- Karam Foundation is a Chicago-based charity that operates out of Turkey to raise funds for rebuilding schools in Syria and securing educational opportunities for Syrian children.
- Sunrise USA is a U.S.-based nonprofit established in 2011 to provide emergency-relief programs to Syrians, both internally displaced and refugees abroad. They deliver food, support education, establish trauma-care facilities, and facilitate orphan sponsorships.
- Islamic Relief USA is a larger nonprofit that’s very reputable. It provides food, clothing, housing necessities and medicine for refugees in neighboring countries. To support these efforts, specify “Syrian Humanitarian Aid” as the designated country on the donation page.
- Project Amal Ou Salaam is a grassroots initiative — not a U.S.-based charity — that Jordanian friends speak highly of. It sponsors schools in Syria, Jordan and Turkey; it also organizes arts, drama, sports and photography workshops for refugees in and outside of Syria. The organization says that all the funds it raises directly supports refugee children.
The Syrian Refugee Crisis is a very intense and heart-wrenching issue, which needs attention. And there are unfortunatley issues like this everywhere and there’s only so much we can do as an individual. So help If you can and if not let’s all just pray for the world.
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Editor Note: The content and opinions are of the writers alone and do not reflect the University of Utah, Her Campus at the University of Utah, or Her Campus as an international magazine.