Europe, Immigrants and “Children of Aleppo”, a poem.

No one can ignore what is happening in Europe these days. Perhaps if you live under a rock you can, but most of us don’t. I am more than concerned, alarmed actually, at the news stream of photos we see of massive immigrants travelling by sea and walking over countries with babies and children in tow.

80% of these immigrants are young men, from 18-35, single, looking for economic opportunities. Most are from Syria. They yell and curse the US and the world for “not overthrowing Assad and ISIS”, yet they leave Syria, etc. because ‘they want a better life’. Many say they have left their wives and children behind.  Seems that Syrian women, etc. are just chattel to Muslim men. The majority of these men are educated  saying they are doctors, pharmacists, lawyers, engineers, and they can’t get a ‘better life’ in their home countries. Well, yes, there is a civil war going on, and they want no part of it. Though some say, ‘when it is safe’, they will return to Syria because they love their home country. Just not enough to organize and fight for it. For others to shoulder the burden.  They should be handed  a white feather.

Mother Merkel said they will take 800,000 of the immigrants. Germany is smart because these are the more ‘acceptable’ of the immigrants: more middle class, even upper class Syrians, educated, the professional class.   What  is left behind in the camps in Jordan, Turkey, etc. are the people who are too poor to pay smugglers to get them to the EU.  The elderly, the sick, the women, the children.

This is the ‘real’ crisis that the news keep writing about and they are legion.  Some 4 million in these camps.

Of course, we don’t know what the German people think of this, but I would think it would be along the lines of “Um…no.” And as far as ‘why don’t the Saudis take these Islamic people in their own country? (Along with Kuwait, Qatar, etc.) These immigrants are the ‘wrong type’ of religious Muslims to the Saudis. Splitting hairs to me.

Two or so years ago I read “Savage Continent” by Keith Lowe. It detailed the mass migrations across Europe and the Balkans after WWII. War basically started in the Balkans, and it looks like history will repeat itself. For anyone seriously concerned about what is happening right now, I would strongly suggest reading this powerful and disturbing book.

My greatest concerns are for the children, dragged across countries, babies and small children, and some who drown in the open seas and die of disease along the road. They are the true refugees. They are innocent of all politics. In my opinion, that is where our concern should be placed.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

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The Children of Aleppo

 

There is no childhood in Aleppo.

There are little martyrs-in-the-making

Where 5 year olds and 8 year olds

Wish for a ‘family death’

Where they can die together

With their parents

Where they live in peace in Heaven

Never tasting the fruits of peace on Earth-

-.

There is no childhood in Aleppo.

The children haunt the abandoned dwellings

Of friends who have fled the city.

There they find abandoned teddy bears

While looking for guns for the rebels, their fathers.

“Oh, the poor thing!”

A dead canary in his cage

Abandoned by its owners

They flee the rockets, bombs

And mortars.

In the face of daily death

The sight of this bird

Evokes a child’s sorrow.

But the gunfire outside continues

(They are used to the noise)

And huddle in the pockmarked

Halls until safe to scatter.

The children of Aleppo

Have no teachers, doctors.

These have fled the cities, schools

But they still pine for ice cream,

For music in the streets,

For curtains not torn by violence,

For books and toys

And gardens and flowers,

For friends that have not died

Innocent blood splattering

The dirty cobble stones

At their feet.

The children of Aleppo

Are free and children again

Only in their dreams,

And perhaps, if you believe so,

After death.

How do you put back the brains

Of a child in the cup of the shattered skull?

How do you soothe the howls of the mothers

The groans of the fathers in grief?

How do you comfort the left-alive siblings?

The children of Aleppo

Have no future as children.

Suffer the little children here,

They are the sacrifice of parents

And factions,

And politicians

All with the blood of

10,000 children

Who have died

In a country torn

By immeasurable violence.

The beautiful children of Aleppo

Like children everywhere

Still want to chase each other

In the gardens, on playgrounds,

Want to dance in the streets,

Want to pluck flowers for their mothers

And they still pine for ice cream.

Jane Kohut-Bartels

Copyrighted, 2014

“Children of Allepo” was published in “Pitcher of Moon”, Createspace, Amazon.com, 2014

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