Editorial & Opinion

A Home for the Refugees

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BERLIN, Germany -- I met Alamid here in Germany and he told me he was a refugee from Syria. Their house was partly destroyed by the barrel bombs of Assad, the tyrannical Syrian dictator who is being supported by Russian forces and warplanes.

Alamid is one of the hundreds of non-combatant families bombed out and who lost all their possessions. They are surviving the bombs by hiding in building and basements. He was with his whole family including cousins and uncles.

His male cousin Jambal, 25 years old, volunteered to go out into the danger zone and get food and water but he was caught by the Isis or Dash killers. Alamid later learned that he was taken to a camp and forced to wear a suicide vest and blow himself up at an army checkpoint. Otherwise his entire family would be killed. This is a regular tactic used by the detested Isis.

The Isis fighters were grabbing any one they could catch in the ruins of the town where Alamid lives. They took away any women and girls they caught to another town and sold them into sex slavery to other fighters of the Isis.

The young girls are commodities sold in exchange for money, guns or ammunition.

When Jamal did not return, Alamid and his family feared the worst and they hid for weeks surviving on the meager supplies that they had stored up. After the counterattack by rebel forces, the Isis withdrew and Alamid and his family survived.

Alamid told his story to the generous and kind Germany family that had given him a welcome in their house and he was given a room and was learning to speak and write German. He was treated like a member of their family. There are many thousands of German families doing just that. Communities are taking in refugees from this horrific war and without media attention or fanfare they share and protect them. This is largely unknown to the world.

This is going on all over Germany. It puts to shame those few who drive out the refugees. A German lady working with Caritas Germany told me, “The German people will prevail over the neo-Nazis.” An anti-refugee and anti-migrant party won a considerable number of seats in a recent regional election.

Alamid explained the terrible fears and suffering the people in Syria endure. Some other families feared they would be captured by Isis so they as a family had made a suicide pack. They had surrounded themselves with explosives ready to blow themselves up and die together rather than suffer rape and murder. The Isis fighters rape mothers and girls in front of their husbands, fathers or brothers and then they would be shot. For some families, mass suicide is the only solution.

A German woman, 90 years old, said during a parish meeting, “We were all refugees after the war, with nothing to eat and nowhere to go. Our houses were all destroyed. We know what it feels like to be like them.”

The love, care and compassion that is being shown is exemplary. Filipinos living here have expressed their support of the refugees and they shared the happy experience about the welcome into Germany they got as migrant workers. Many are settled, well-employed and married.

A charity worker told me that she doesn’t believe that the so-called Cologne New Year’s night sexual assaults were as widespread as reported or even happened. It is now emerging, according to some, that it was a right-wing neo-Nazi plot to disparage the refugees and turn public opinion against them. If it was such a plot, then it worked.

The hard-hearted politicians and anti-migrant groups are the dark side of human nature, the side that wants to keep their place of the planet entirely for themselves. Many of these right-wing anti-migrants are living in the false fear spread by racists who whip up mobs to attack the buildings housing refugees.

They do not know what hardship and suffering the refugees have to endure. Families send the young boys and youth on the migrant trail to save them from being forced to join Isis as warriors .Video has been seen showing as many as fifty children, some as young a ten, being brainwashed so as they would become killers. The Isis is a force for evil and exploitation. It has nothing to do with true Islam.

What is needed in this situation above all is compassion, understanding and knowledge. We need to respect the dignity of the people, reach out and help end the terrible suffering of the refugees caught on the Greek border and not add to their hardship but give them freedom and a chance for a better life.

 

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Cynthia V. Reyes DMD