On 3 September 2015, father of Aylan Kurdi solemnly left the morgue, where he buried the bodies of his wife and sons. Aylan Kurdi as the world now knows, was a 3 year old Syrian refugee who is one of the many children who has passed on due to the Syrian conflict. His family was one of the many thousands who were displaced and were seeking safety and a better life.
On Twitter, Shaykh Zahir Mahmood wrote: ”While Aylans innocent soul plays in the gardens of paradise. His death has brought to life humanity in billions of souls.”
Washed ashore, little Aylans lifeless body lay peacefully on the European beach in a red sweater and denim blue jeans. The picture, surfaced on the internet and has since re-opened the world’s eyes to the despicable effects of the Syrian conflict. Ordinary citizens across the globe are now appealing to their governments to house refugees. But as yet such pleas appear to have fallen on deaf ears. In Australia for instance, Prime Minister, Tony Abbot has taken it upon himself to discourage other officials to disallow refugees into their countries, saying , “stopping boats is key for Europe.”
Father of Aylan, Abdullah Kurdi, told Radio Rozana in an interview that his wife and two sons died, one-by-one in his arms on Wednesday, as they clung to an overturned dinghy boat floating in waves just off the Turkish coast. He said that he had paid €4,000 for four spaces on the five-metre-long rubber craft. With them were 12 other passengers traveling to Kos, just four kilometres away and a supposed 30 minute trip.
“When we were away from the Turkish coast, oh my God the waves, we died. The Turk jumped into the sea, then a wave came and flipped us over. I grabbed my sons and wife and we held onto the boat,” Abdullah Kurdi explained.
“We stayed like that for an hour, then the first died and I left him so I could help the other, then the second died, so I left him as well to help his mom and I found her dead. What do I do… I spent three hours waiting for the coast guard to come. The life jackets we were wearing were all fake.”
What are these displaced families left to do, if not to turn to the seas and seek a better life for themselves. Dehumanised ministers, should be reminded, that if placed in a similar situation, seeking refugee status and aid is not a crime. The public’s outcries should continue.
It has been 5 years since president Assad and his regime began its terror campaign destroying innocent Syrian homes, forcing ordinary citizens towards arms in self defense. The victims of the war are many and displaced refugees and skeletal shells of buildings is all that remains. For the refugees, theirs is a daily battle for food, aid, education and safety.
It has taken 5 years for the international community to recognise the bleakness of the Syrian plight in such a loud way.
The verdict is still out on whether this will translate into meaningful action to soothe the suffering of these forgotten souls.