I remember in 10th grade watching the Syrian refugee crisis unfold right before my own eyes on to the media’s center stage: thousands of Syrians forced to leave their country, children dying, bombs being bombarded into homes. I could not believe that something like this could happen in the 21st century. I was interested in dissecting the crisis, but I did not reflect on the extent of the problem. I decided the only way to better understand the crisis was to work with the people behind the scene of the resettlement programs. After my time with The Refugee Services of Texas, I still felt disconnected. I wanted to do more with my Service Learning than to just work in my cubical and organize papers for my case worker. I wanted to interact with the refugees and hear their stories. Though my Service Learning did not keep me satisfied, I still enjoyed the people who surrounded me. The summer before my senior year, I pitched an idea to an non profit organization involving the local refugees and a Christian organization. After weeks of planning, we managed to attract over 250 plus refugees. Even more amazing was that two religious organizations were able to work together and put their differences aside in order to help the refugees. I wanted to show living proof to my community that we could work together with other faiths and make a difference in somebody’s life so I used my camera to film the event. I linked the final product on to our Facebook page and within two days we had over 3,000 views and hundreds of comments from all walks of life asking how they could get involved including a priest and a rabbi.
The Syrian Refugee Crisis is the largest ongoing humanitarian crisis (World Vision 1). The uprising began in Syria of 2011. The crisis started in rural area of Damascus but then moved on to most of Syria which lead to the uprising against the Al-Assad regime. The people of Syria wanted a more democratic system and to be part of the political world (Omer 5). This led to over 250,000 deaths and 9 million Syrians forced to flee their homes since the outbreak of civil war in March 2011. Out of the 9 million, 6.5 million are internally displaced within Syria (De Bel-Air 2). Upon my research I examined the role of the United States during the crisis and what aid they hope to provide to incoming refugees. I had originally proposed the question to what would be the justification for U.S intervention in the Syrian refugee crisis and what benefits could serve the America Government in helping the Syrian refugees, but I realized my problem was much deeper than that I needed to analyze the situation in a different perspective. The only way refugees will be welcomed with open arms and minds by the United States is by taking away the fear of Islam and Muslims.
Humanitarian organizations such as the one I have worked with are in need of help in creating a better and safer system for refugee children to grow and learn. As humans we should go beyond our civil duty to help these children as a community (Richard 7). The children are forced to grow up and hold adult responsibilities and pressure causing them to lose their childhood overnight. The effect the war has had on the children, of Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, Central African Republic, and South Sudan, has dramatically impacted them, “Children who have escaped violence in Syria and Iraq speak of the brutality-losing parents, loved ones, and friends-and being displaced and out of school,”(Omer 6). The end of Syrian war could be near, but, nevertheless, over 6.5 million refugees still displaced and do not have a place to call home. The justification for U.S. intervention in the Syrian refugee crisis could cause more harm than good, but the benefit of aiding the Syrian refugees here in the United States could serve to strengthen the Abrahamic faiths. In order to aid the people coming from the war torn area, we need to make sure that our society can take away their differences by embracing and learning from each other’s faith. A facilitation for an interfaith dialogue to enhance a mutual understanding and respect for religious differences among the community and encourage them to welcome refugees coming into the United States.