Life in the Middle East is not easy. Its an unstable region where the gap between the rich and poor is growing and the environmental challenges are increasing. Add to that the different types of war and conflict which are raging in our region.
So living in a Middle Eastern country can be difficult. It can be even more difficult in many Arab countries if you are a woman. It can turn to a small hell if you have to leave your country and become a refugee. And it can get worst if you are an Arab woman living as a refugee in another Arab country.
The BBC’s listening project:
introduces seven conversations recorded in Beirut between refugees who have fled the war in Syria to make a new life for themselves in Lebanon or elsewhere. All the conversations except one, were recorded in Arabic and have been translated into English
The experiences of these refugees will have a long lasting impact on the stability of the countries which they have fled, the countries where they are seeking refuge, and on the region as a whole. This is why we must listen and learn. Put your feet up, and listen. An absolute must.
Those in the West who are standing up for Syrian refugees and want them to be accepted by their country are amazing people. They make me proud to be human, because they don’t want to see refugees who are fleeing death and misery to suffer. They want them to be safe.
I wish the same people would have been around when my Jewish European brethren who were fleeing the Nazis tried to enter the U.S and some of the other Western countries. At times, they shut the door in their face and didn’t allow them to enter. The US government refused a proposal to take in 20,000 Jewish children. In one case, a ship (the St. Luis) carrying Jews was returned to Europe. 254 out of its 900 passengers were killed in the Holocaust. I could go on.
So it took six million dead Jews for the world to feel sorry enough for us to help us.
Why am I saying this?
Because this tragedy shows how urgently we need to find a solution to the Syrian crisis. No one wants to be a refugee. No one wants to leave their home, job and family to go begging another country to let them in. Not unless their lives are in danger. Just think about that next time you see a refugee. People lose their jobs and they go nuts. Now imagine losing your home, your family, your friends as well, and then having to leave your city and country.
This tragedy also shows how important it is for us Jews to have a state of our own. Enough with begging other countries to give us refuge, enough with trying for generations to fit only to find out you never belonged. Enough with feeling that you are an unwanted guest. I am not saying that all countries were like that with their Jewish population. No. But enough behaved this way towards us to justify the feeling that we deserve and must have our own state, and not have to apologize for it. Also, because the world left us with no other choice.
And now that we have a state, to think about another people who live next door to us. I am talking about the people of Palestine, majority of whom are also refugees. And to realize that for us to have a peaceful future in our own state, they must also have their own state. This is the truth, as difficult as it is to say it on a day like today when 5 innocent Israelis were murdered by terrorists. It is easier to make peace with a people who have hope, it is easier to punish terrorists who have something to lose.