08 Jun
  • By subhi Nahas
  • Cause in

Destroyed by Bombs

Imagine, your home destroyed by bombs, your family murdered, your country unrecognizable, and fear of death constantly threating your day to day life. What do you have left? Your dignity. There are many people fortunate enough to flee their excessively deteriorating life in Syria, yet the war has only just started. Increasing frustrations arise when considering vulnerable refugees, including the LGBTQ community. Many escaping torture, beheading, and mutilation in the war stricken countries. The problem becomes clearer when refugees escape the harsh environment of their countries to fall into a much more homophobic and violent regime, where they were seeking refuge, in countries such as Turkey and Egypt. The majority of the Middle East proudly denies the rights of the LGBTQ community, countries such as, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Oman, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, where the death penalty is still the appropriate punishment for homosexuality.[1] Moreover, it is a criminal offence to aide refugees who are vocally LGBTQ. A recent study in Turkey has provided that 60% of LGBT refugees are facing death threats on a regular basis, whilst 44% are in need of safe housing. Moreover, 1 in 3 LGBT refugees are unemployed and are not offered work of any kind (Ref).

The hardship does not end when the victims of crumbling countries escape, in fact for most LGBTQ the struggle has only begun. The international society is currently experiencing one of the world’s largest refugee crises. The Syrian refugee problem is pushing into its seventh brutal year, the human suffering has continued unquestioned, causing global repercussions and challenges in the economic and politic alliances of the international system. [2] There have been heated debates with regards to the lack of open boarders by GCC countries – although the GCC states have collectively pledged to donate $1.2bn to the refugee camps. The argument laid down by the Gulf is the already shrinking population of the nationals; The UAE houses 88.5% expatriates and Qatar 85.7%.[3] The already small national population of these countries would be even more apparent if more non-nationals are to integrate into the society. This means that the pressure of relocating the refugees has fallen in the hands of smaller, much poorer, neighboring countries and Europe.

It is evident that the current refugee crisis is one for the whole international society, it is an issue that the entire community need to deal with and that starts with us, the people. There is a lack of humanity in this world, where we have the option to ignore the injustice in the rest of the world. Life in the privileged West enables us to turn off our notifications on Facebook, Twitter, or blog sites to encourage our blissful ignorance and continue our activities of going to malls, watching TV shows, and getting our caffeine fix at Starbucks. This is not what life is about. There are crises right now and it will take a united international society to solve the problem and remind each other what humanity is really about.

Rights have been suppressed for some, whilst taken for granted by others.

Thankfully, Spectra Project aids refugees in their countries of transit, by providing emergency shelter, legal advice, and education. We are a non-political non-religious humanitarian organization that aims to improve the lives of the minority, especially the vulnerable, based in MENA countries (Middle East and North Africa). If you agree with equality and want to help then you can do so by donating or even volunteering on our website: https://spectraproject.org.

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[1] https://76crimes.com/76-countries-where-homosexuality-is-illegal/ <accessed 11.04.17>

[2] Remarks by His Majesty King Abdullah II, During the “Supporting Syria and the Region Conference” London, UK 4 February 2016

[3] GCC Total Population and Percentage of national and non-nationals in GCC countries 2010-2015

subhi Nahas

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