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Sunday, July 25, 2021

Qatar, other GCC nations urged to host Syrian refugees as crisis worsens

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Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

As the plight of Syrian refugees grows increasingly dire, more people have been calling on wealthy Gulf countries to accept their share of responsibility and welcome refugees on their soil.

This week has been an especially tragic one for those trying to flee the violence in Syria. According to media reports, some 71 immigrants died after being locked in a truck that was abandoned on a highway in Austria.

Another 12 people believed to be Syrian refugees drowned after two boats leaving southwest Turkey for the Greek island of Kos sank.

The deceased included a toddler whose body was photographed washed up ashore, an image that horrified people from around the world.

Crisis mode

Syria’s years-long civil war has displaced more than 6 million people within its borders and spurred more than 4 million to escape to other countries, according to the United Nations.

While in previous years most Syrians fled to neighboring countries, they are now increasingly seeking refuge in Europe.

Syrian refugees at a camp during the winter.
Syrian refugees at a camp during the winter.

Last month, a record number of 107,500 people crossed the EU’s border, according to the Guardian.

But response to the influx has been mixed, with European countries disagreeing on how to manage the crisis.

Germany for example has said it would accept 1 million asylum seekers this year, but Hungary has responded to the issue by building a new fence along its border with Serbia.

Citing GCC nations’ geographic proximity and similar cultural and Islamic values, many people have taken to social media to urge governments in the Gulf to welcome Syrian refugees.

This week, the hashtag #استضافة_لاجئي_سوريا_واجب_خليجي (welcome Syria’s refugees is a Gulf duty) was trending on Twitter.

Among those who contributed to the conversation were a few prominent Qatari and Arab figures, including local radio and TV presenter Aqeel Al Janahi, who said:

Translation: “We shouldn’t call the Syrians who ran from oppression and death in their country refugees, they are immigrants and we have to host them and help them.”

Meanwhile, an editorial published in the Gulf Times on Thursday condemned the “silence” of the Gulf states, in comparison to the efforts exerted by Europe in dealing with the Syrian refugees. The editorial read:

“Tragically, the cash-rich Gulf countries have not yet issued a collective statement on the crisis – much less come up with a strategy to help the migrants who are overwhelmingly Muslim. Turkey has taken in more than 2.5mn  Syrian refugees, while not-so-well-off Lebanon is also hosting hundreds of thousands. In this part of the world, however, the silence is deafening.”

Photo for illustrative purposes only.
Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Also this week, prominent Emirati blogger and commentator on Arab affairs Sultan Al Qassemi wrote an editorial saying:

“The Gulf must realize that now is the time to change their policy regarding accepting refugees from the Syria crisis. It is the moral, ethical and responsible step to take.”

Speaking to Doha News, Al Qassemi said:

“Qatar was heavily invested in the early days of the Syrian uprising trying to no avail to convince the government of Bashar Al Assad to enact reforms. Qatar can now set an example by offering desperate Syrian refugees shelter.”

He added:

“Numerous articles in Qatari press complain about the decrease of use of Arabic language and that Qatari culture isn’t respected by foreigners. In addition to being the ethical move Syrians are close in cultural and in language to their Qatari brethren.”

Hesitation

Why GCC nations have not opened their doors to Syrians in need remains a point of debate.

Online, some said there were better ways to help:

Translation: “On the contrary, giving them weapons and supporting them in retrieving their country and electing a (new) ruler is our main duty.”

Echoing this sentiment, a UAE government official told Bloomberg yesterday that allowing Syrian refugees to settle in the GCC wasn’t in the long-term interest of those fleeing the war.

He added that the government would instead continue to help refugees with humanitarian aid, while also allowing those who already have relatives in the UAE to move to the country.

According to Al Qassemi, many in the Gulf are also reluctant to accept Syrians due to security concerns, while others may “be wary of allowing a large number of politically vocal Arabs into their countries that might somehow influence a traditionally politically-passive society.”

Qatar’s Efforts

Over the past several years, Qatar has been providing millions of dollars in humanitarian aid to Syrians. It has also given military and financial support to rebel forces, permitted protests in Doha against the Syrian government, opened a new embassy here staffed by opposition members – and faced several cyber attacks and smear campaigns from Al Assad loyalists.

February 2012 protest against Syrian president Bashar Al Assad.
February 2012 protest against Syrian president Bashar Al Assad.

Additionally, in 2013, Qatar held a special program to host and care for 42 Syrian refugees from Lebanon, including widows and families fleeing the violence in Syria.

They were called “special guests of the Emir” by officials, and had already been receiving aid from Qatar while staying in Lebanon.

Qatar has also allowed Syrians who were already sponsored and working here to bring in their relatives.

However, these applications are approved on a case-by-case basis and can take months to process, as embassy and government officials investigate whether the applicant poses a security risk, among other factors.

Once in Qatar, the Syrians are granted a visitor visa that can be renewed inside the country for QR200, exempting them from leaving Qatar and coming back, as many other long-term “visitors” must do, embassy officials said.

This appears to be a change from 2013, when many visitors reported having to go off the grid once their visitor visas expired.

Nasr Abu Nabot, the first secretary at the Syrian embassy in Qatar, previously told Doha News that Syrians in Qatar have a different legal status than what’s typically given by other countries:

“More people choose to come to Qatar to avoid bearing the stigma of being a refugee,” he said.

However, the inability to work on a visitor visa means many Syrians in Qatar face financial hardships, due to the high cost of living.

Last year, representatives of the Syrian embassy in Qatar, there are more than 40,000 Syrian expats living here with residency permits. The number of Syrians on visitor visas is more than 20,000, including men, women and children.

Thoughts?

121 COMMENTS

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MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

It is quite shocking that the rich Arab Muslim States do not want to help they Arab Muslim brothers instead they have to risk their lives trying to get to Europe. Especially as Saudi and Qatar are partly responsible for the mess in Syria by funding their favourite Islamic groups, so the killing can continue.

The fact they have taken zero refugees is a shocking indictment of their commitment to human rights and the suffering in their backyard. Qatar, UAE, Saudi and Kuwait should immediately start taking in refugees and offering a path to permanent residence and possibly even citzenship as Europe does.

The fact that it is impossible to get visas for Syrians currently shows the complete lack of compassion and demostrates they talk about Arab Muslim unity, but that counts for nothing when their brothers and sisters are truly in need.

Michkey
Michkey
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

It’s absolutely sickening to see that the GCC countries, especially Qatar, who boasts a humane image, and supports an idea called “Muslim Brotherhood” watch silently our brothers and sisters fall. :'(

The Reporter
The Reporter
5 years ago
Reply to  Michkey

Should it not be called the “Sunni Brotherhood”. To the unknowing west of the time the Iran/Iraq war seen as a spat between the slightly deranged leaders of the two countries, but the last two years have left the west a lot wiser and the slaughter by the Sunni ISIS of the Shia (and any other religion for that matter) has buried the concept of a brotherhood embracing all Muslims to an irretrievable depth. The Iranian forces in Syria are fighting with the Sunni rebels to defeat ISIS, but if that goal is achieved then there is no doubt that they will turn against those same rebels to defend Assad.

Observant One
Observant One
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Your assuming that Qataris know what shame or compassion is…just look around at the treatment of workers and maids and one sees that they do not…..

Hassan
Hassan
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

That’s the entire point! They purposely don’t want any refugees. The gulf started this problem in the first place, the whole point of this is that the gulf along with America want to destroy Arab countries (Syria, Iraq, etc). Pretty ironic they talk about human rights, when people in the gulf get flogged for speaking their mind. They do not want to take in refugees because a) they purposely want to exterminate Syria and b) they don’t want to give out permanent residence or citizenship because they don’t want a bigger citizen population, that’s how their racist policies work. there is no such thing as permanent residence in the gulf. You think qataris and other gulf countries care about their muslim brothers? THEY DONT GIVE a piece of ****, DID U FORGET GAZA LAST YEAR, Israel was bombarding gaza and killed 2000 arab muslims and the gulf countries didn’t lift a finger, people protested all around the world, except for in the gulf. and now whats been going on in yemen for months, again thousands of Yemeni civilians killed because they’re Shiite. in the end, this the gulf is purposely not accepting refugees so I don’t know why everyone is so surprised

johnny wang
johnny wang
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I doubt given a choice anyone of this migrants would love to jump from a small fire into a bigger one by trying to come to this places in the Middle East. They are perfectly happy with where they are heading even with all the troubles and sufferings along the way. Its a shame and a disgrace that this countries in the European union and the USA who spend so much money on weapons cannot get togather and help this people who are fleeing for their lives from tyrants and despots in their countries. The rich countries in the EU, the USA and the UN are becoming like rats and are not willing to help and ease the sufferings of this migrants

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3222829/Outpouring-grief-continues-images-Syrian-toddler-Aylan-Kurdi-s-dead-body-Turkey.html

Myrddin
Myrddin
5 years ago
Reply to  johnny wang

But at least EU countries are doing something – whether that is sufficient is up for debate – but the EU is doing something.

Chilidog
Chilidog
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I’m pretty sure the 2030 vision budget doesn’t have a line item marked “refugee aid….”

Uglymost69
Uglymost69
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

This is the first time you spoke of some sense MIMH. My respect.

Please keep your racist worms in your brain under control so you make some sense here on DN.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Uglymost69

Boring. Change the record.

Anon
Anon
5 years ago

How embarrassing for the ‘richest’ (GDP ONLY, I emphasise the only) country in the world to have so far taken virtually no Syrian refugees…..fellow Muslims apparently. Are they the ‘wrong’ kind? Mostly no, one would imagine, not that that should be a reason. Is there any excuse? I will wait for the apologists, but guess the will be particularly stretched with explaining this one……..

null
null
5 years ago
Reply to  Anon

Exactly. The richest country in the world by “GDP ONLY” (As you just emphasized) needs to take more Syrian refugees. Unfortunately only 1,554 Syrian refugees have been resettled in the U.S. since fighting began.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  null

That is still 1554 more than the six members of the GCC put together.

null
null
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

The US also picks and chooses who gets in, they pick those who are financially able to support themselves. Which similar to the situation of most Syrians living in the GCC. That would give a huge shocking number for you.

activist
activist
5 years ago

A truly inhuman act. Throwing money at the refugee crises is not helping those refugees find new homes. All that does is help those who sit by and refuse to welcome them sleep better at night pretending they are contributing. Let those people in! It’s not going to affect the budgets of any of those countries. let them in! If the system doesn’t allow for refugees to enter. Change it!

KK
KK
5 years ago

42 ???

Michkey
Michkey
5 years ago
Reply to  KK

They think it is the answer to everything!

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

Syrian refugees taken by the six GCC countries? Zero.

How long before “Muslim community leaders” in the GCC start complaining that life is tough for Syrian Muslims in Europe and they are being dsicrimated against, while the countries in the GCC that host them watch kids wash up dead on beaches.

Rob
Rob
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Hey, MIMH, if you don’t love it……. etc, etc. I feel sick when I think of Qatar these days.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Rob

And just think they are creating more refugees in an illegal war in Yemen. Plenty of dead women and kids there especially through Saudi indiscriminate bombing.

Yummykarak
Yummykarak
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

I have to agree. Yemen needs schools, hospitals and homes…not bombs.
People keep criticizing the West but atleast they are trying to help…

Myrddin
Myrddin
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Not precisely true MIMH – I got linked into a site yesterday that showed Qatar has taken in 15? refugees over the whole of the last 4 years – zero this year though. In essence though, it may as well be zero.

I bet those 15 weren’t your common or garden variety refugees either?

Uglymost69
Uglymost69
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

If you don’t like it here you can always leave unless you are Qatari!!!!

Guest
Guest
5 years ago

What is happening to the Syrian people is absolutely awful. The men, women and children are suffering untold trauma. It is very telling that the Westerners and Western governments that so many people criticise are trying to help out despite the fact that several of those countries are already heavily populated and not cash rich.

Before rushing to criticise westerners all the time people should think that they or someone connected to them are the ones who are stretching a helping hand to the Syrians.

Everyone is keen to blame all the worlds problems on Western governments yet it is those governments and institutions (not exclusively) that struggle to feed, cloth, provide healthcare and refugee status to asylum seekers. I do not see anyone in the region criticising the Chinese or Russian vetos at the UN when airstrikes were suggested at the outset. Why are the Syrians running to the West if Westerners are such bad people. Why is there not a rush to China, Russia or anywhere else. This should be food for thought for the Muslim world/Doha news commentators whose favourite sport is Western bashing – think of all the dinner party conversations, political conversations …. Time for the rest of the world especially the GCC to step up and help out as much or if not more than that being done by other nations. Once I travelled to the GCC I realised that a lot of the Muslim world is about big flowery discussions and lots of patting on the back to make themselves feel better. Time to act : the bodies of innocent men, women are piling up. You may think that I am a Western male, I am not. I am a Muslim woman who has worked and lived in the West.

Jen
Jen
5 years ago
Reply to  Guest

I agree. I am South African-and I always wonder why we read that “Europe has a moral obligation” to help refugees and immigrants-why Europe, their tax payers money will eventually run out,they are constantly criticised by non western countries-why are USA, South Africa, The Arabian Penninsula, New Zealand, Morroca etc etc etc not expected to” have a moral obligation to open their doors”. The whole world Muslim, Christian, agnostic, Hindu etc people have an obligation to help fellow man.

Kz
Kz
5 years ago
Reply to  Guest

The ones that criticise the western govts always are the vwry ones who have becer travelled to the west, never lived there either as a student or worker. Their views are all based on some propaganda websites. You find similar people in the west who have similar views about the middle east. I’m not saying western govts should not be criticised. But some of the criticism is unwanted like why they are not doing enough for the refugees when they are the only ones doing something.

Myrddin
Myrddin
5 years ago
Reply to  Kz

Oh for Pity’s Sake DN??

dekan23
dekan23
5 years ago
Reply to  Guest

I disagree with some points you made. First of all, people don’t Western bash here…. they Qatar bash. Secondly, US is the one that de-stabilized Middle East and gave opportunity for groups like ISIS to come to power. Thirdly, European powers wrote the fate for present day Palestine. So please do not portray Western governments as so innocent. Finally, there is no rush to China and Russia because they are far away. I agree with everything else you said.

Myrddin
Myrddin
5 years ago
Reply to  dekan23

Russia too far away? Perhaps you need to consult an atlas!

Sochi in Russia, is no further away from Aleppo than Istanbul.

http://wikimapia.org/#lang=en&lat=39.740986&lon=39.287109&z=6&m=w&show=/16697314/Kotayk-district&search=Syria

Anonmauser
Anonmauser
5 years ago
Reply to  dekan23

Ha, Western bashing on DN is one of the favorite pastimes of the writers on here, easily as much a Qatar bashing. DN posters are equal-opportunity stereotypers don’t you know?

Misha
Misha
5 years ago

This is embarrassing and shameful for us and the rest of the GCC. What makes it worse is that these Syrians were encouraged and supported during the uprising and then abandoned. Perhaps even wishing they never tried to rise up in the first place.

As for Mr. Al-Mulla’s tweet about the best thing we can do it give them weapons and have them fight? I’m sure he will be the first one on a plane leaving if that was the situation here! During the Gulf War is that how we treated the Kuwaitis? Give them weapons and leave them to stay and fight? No, they were welcomed into countries and into safety.

Even if one doesn’t feel empathy towards refugees. Let them at least be selfish and think this can happen to YOU! There were Syrians who were Doctors, Engineers, Teachers, businessmen, landowners etc in a stable country and now all are fleeing and begging with little valuables and destroyed homes. We can not predict what country will have a conflict or be hit by a natural disaster, but if it is you and your country next time will anyone hear you as you cry for help?

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Misha

Good points. When the oil and gas runs out and the khalejis are killing each other over a glass of water, will they expect the rest of the world to help them? Maybe their Arab Muslims brothers will remembered how they were not welcomed and will leave them to rot

Peaches
Peaches
5 years ago

Sad to see what is happening to the Syrians, it would definitely be easier for them to all go saudi, there is more than enough space and money to accommodate. Perhaps if europe started saying they dont accept muslims and everyone has to convert to christianity then maybe the GCC will open their doors for fear of losing muslim followers?

Misha
Misha
5 years ago
Reply to  Peaches

Not all Syrians are Muslims and not all Europeans are Christians. If the GCC don’t taken in muslim refugees now ( with the mindset of helping their brothers and sisters), I doubt a threat would work, many Syrian muslim followers are being lost due to death anyway.

Zeit
Zeit
5 years ago
Reply to  Peaches

Actually poland, slovakia and hungary have already said they will only take the christian refugees.

The Reporter
The Reporter
5 years ago
Reply to  Zeit

That’s why there is a steady stream of Muslims converting to Christianity once they get there – and of course they can do it because in the west there is no fear of retribution if you denounce your religion.

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago

Qataris is are generous in general and this applies to both the people and the government. However this time the official position towards the refugees crisis is a huge disappointment. My understanding is that Qatar and the GCC countries fear that a refugees influx can bring with it security concerns and logistics headaches. For me, if the other option is people drowning in the sea then security shouldn’t be the priority. Let’s save people first and then we will deal with security issues when -and if- they arise!

Alaa
Alaa
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Refugee camps in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan are funded by GCC governments.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Alaa

Yes, just like the Palestinians. As long as those dirty people don’t come near us, we will give them money so they can live in camps for the rest of their lives.

Alaa
Alaa
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

How many refugees can $1 billion keep in Qatar compared to say Turkey or Lebanon? They have a comparative advantages in taking in refugees.

truth
truth
5 years ago
Reply to  Alaa

Alaa, that’s not true that refugee camps are funded by GCC, Turkey spend $4.5 billion on refugees and only $200 million has been funded from abroad.

Alaa
Alaa
5 years ago
Reply to  truth

I don’t have any number nor do I confirm yours. Turkey has an obligation too don’t you think? They share huge borders.

Alaa
Alaa
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

No answer, why? Cause you don’t care. It’s not about the refugees that gets you into these discussions. You have serious issues with Qatar.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Alaa

Qatar and Saudi funded their fav Islamic groups (Islamic rebel groups never end well if they get power, a la Iran and Afghanistan as two examples) so they broke Syria and hold a moral responsibility to deal with the consequences. (The same way the Americans broke Iraq)

Due to their actions as a player in the Syrian civil war millions are now refugees, the least they could do is take in 50,000 each to ease their suffering, rather than hopping Europe will solve the problem for them or Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago
Reply to  Alaa

In this particular case, the financial aid is useless. These people cannot access Lebanon, Turkey or Jordan because these countries decided to close their borders. They do not need money but a secure place for now. Once they are in a safe area we can talk about financial support.

Alaa
Alaa
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

What’s wrong with Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan? It’s a bit cooler over there. It probably costs less if you measure it by refugee per buck to have there than in the GCC.

KK
KK
5 years ago
Reply to  Alaa

“to have there than in…” summarises your thoughts. As long as they do not come to your country.

Alaa
Alaa
5 years ago
Reply to  KK

My country is not written in any of the comments on this page. I am born and raised here.

Alaa
Alaa
5 years ago
Reply to  KK

I take your comment as a confirmation to the fact that it is not cost effective to have refugees in GCC. Thank you.

WTF
WTF
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Cannot access Lebanon, Turkey or Jordan… Perhaps you mean Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE…

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago
Reply to  WTF

This is in June 2015
“In a report entitled “Global Refugee Crisis: A conspiracy of Neglect”, Amnesty said Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey after having taken in over four million Syrians since the conflict started in 2011 were now closing their borders.”

Jen
Jen
5 years ago
Reply to  Alaa

People are fleeing those refugee camps and begging on TV not to be taken to them!

Expat77
Expat77
5 years ago
Reply to  Alaa

Outsourcing Refugee camps?

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

I agree with you. I think also a reason why Qatar doesn’t take refugees is the “ever after” bit. I have to go home once I’ve worked my useful life here or my boss tires of sponsoring me. How do you get a Syrian family to “go home” after you have taken them in and settled them, when do they go? Will the local population kick a fuss at the “benefits” they receive? A free home? Allowance? . This shouldn’t however deter Qatar, a change in policy is possible in the name of humanity. They could be a real leader in this issue for the GCC…. But at the moment the silence is deafening.

Katie
5 years ago

I’m heartbroken by this story, and the knowledge that Aylan is a symbol of many more innocents who have drowned to death like this. There’s a lot I want to say, but the climate of fear in Qatar means I feel limited. Here are a few words I wrote on it today http://www.onlyindoha.com/silence-from-qatar-as-the-world-mourns-aylan-kurdi/

The Avenger
The Avenger
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

The cold truth about tis poor child is that his family got it wrong and are responsible . They were in Turkey for over 12 months and never claimed aslylum . They’re so called family in Canada did never start their claim their either . The whole episode is sad and littered with lies and media propaganda . The plain truth is these poor children were put at risk by selfishness and greed.
Everybody wants a better life but not everyone is entitled to one , it’s not everyones right . This family could have made claim for asylum in a host of countries including Turkey but they chose not to . They must take full responsibilty on that i’m afraid. Every parent on the planet must protect their child at all costs , these parents failed.

Katie
5 years ago
Reply to  The Avenger

“Everybody wants a better life but not everyone is entitled to one , it’s not everyones right.”

You disgust me.

The Avenger
The Avenger
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

Why , because I’m telling the hard facts of life . Why on earth do you think the GCC nations have not excepted a single refugee and will never relinquish their rights to do so . You’ve a lot to learn I’m afraid , your blog tells me that . Stick to reading the Guardian .

Katie
5 years ago
Reply to  The Avenger

There is no difference between your ability to see the world as it is than mine. The difference is that you accept it, and I believe humanity can do better. No doubt you’ll cast that off as some kind of hippy-dippy notion, and you have every right to do that.

It’s interesting that you’re so into “cold, hard facts” and removing emotion from things. Did you know that our ability to feel compassion and show empathy is what separates well balanced human beings from sociopaths?

I would prefer to be a “bleeding heart” “libtard” or whatever other name you want to throw at me and aspire to doing a better job than we are now than shrug my shoulders with some kind of “It is what it is” BS about the world being a tough place.

If you don’t like my blog, there’s a very simple solution to that – don’t read it.

The Avenger
The Avenger
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

The bottom line is that a large percentage of the mass of people moving across Europe are economic migrants , it’s a cold hard fact . The family in question had money to pay a smuggler. He wanted a new set of teeth for goodness sake .
They want free money , free healthcare , free education , free housing . I dont blame them it’s a basic human instinct but it’s not their right . Why on earth do you think that the nations of the GCC have been quiet , why do you think the usual rhetoric on here is missing from the local based aplogists ? The nations of the GCC wouldn’t take refugees from certain demographics as it’s not in line with their cultural and religous norms end of story and plus there’s nothing free here .
The whole media circus of this story is left wing propaganda . Nobody likes cold a
hard facts beamed into their living room before XFactor and the pizza delivery . Personal accountability and responsibility are missing from large parts of the human race . Never in a million years would anybody of sane mind take a risk putting their children on that boat . It’s the same mindset that puts children in the front seat of cars without a belt .

Kz
Kz
5 years ago
Reply to  The Avenger

I’d rather read guardian rather than be a daily mail fan boy.

The Avenger
The Avenger
5 years ago
Reply to  Kz

I read neither to be honest , i take my views from 25 years working around the globe and seeing first hand peoples culture , practice and behaviour .

Katie
5 years ago
Reply to  The Avenger

That argument – that not everyone deserves or is entitled to a better life could easily be used by Qataris to justify the human rights abuses here.

How would you choose who deserves a better life and who doesn’t? That’s a disgusting comment. We are all human beings, borders are manmade constructs that are ultimately meaningless in terms of how we should treat each other.

Did you know that the life jackets the kids were given were fake? Do you think their father would have taken that risk if he didn’t think it was the best thing for his babies?

To call someone fleeing war selfish and greedy for trying to get to Canada is cruel and just awful. By the way, what are your sources for saying they never started their claim, because everything i have read on the topic said their claim was rejected.

Red_Panigale
Red_Panigale
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

We are all human beings, borders are manmade constructs that are ultimately meaningless in terms of how we should treat each other.

Youve not had much contact with the real world have you? This bleeding heart garbage gets you no where. People have to look out for their own.

Katie
5 years ago
Reply to  Red_Panigale

“That’s not how the real world works” is a poor excuse by people who can’t be arsed to try.

Red_Panigale
Red_Panigale
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

Survival of the fittest. That’s how the world always has and always will work. No one owes others anything, You are here to look out for yourself and your immediate family. No one else.

truth
truth
5 years ago
Reply to  Red_Panigale

if borders are meaningless, than homes are also meaningless, let anyone come and stay at your home, which you have build spending lots of your resources, efforts and time. The same applies to countries, European nations had to work generations to achieve their current prosperity, development and democracy, while other nations were and are still stuck with their medieval mindset. I imagine how those people whose ancestry left them their countries, but now people from around the world take benefits of them.

facty
facty
5 years ago
Reply to  truth

you forgot the centuries of colonisation of asian and african countries, of looting their resources, of plundering their land and of using their populations as slaves that helped built europe, make it modern and prosperous.

Myrddin
Myrddin
5 years ago
Reply to  facty

By your rationale: USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand should all be failed states, forever decimated by the plundering of the parasitic British empire, except they are not. They took their independence and advanced themselves. Other countries reverted to tribalism and / or voting in a the dictator with the biggest gang behind him.

The Avenger
The Avenger
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

They were not fleeing war , they’d been in Turkey for more than 12 months . Their Aunt in Canada confirms no official application today . Take the emotion out and look at the facts . They could face claimed asylum in Turkey but didn’t . Syrians can take asylum in Greece , Bulgaria , Romania and Turkey but won’t . Economic migrants nothing more nothing less .

Katie
5 years ago
Reply to  The Avenger

An economic migrant has the option to return home. Do these people have that option? A refugee flees war.

WTF
WTF
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

A refugee flees war and arrives in Turkey. There is no war and therefore no fear for one’s life in Turkey. Well, staying in Turkey is no picnic, and one finds out that Germany, Sweden, Denmark and the Netherlands roll out the red carpet and give five-star treatment to “refugees”. My question to you is, are these people still refugees once they leave the “no-fear-for-one’s-life” Turkey in search of the five-star treatment???

Katie
5 years ago
Reply to  WTF

Here’s the UNHCR definition for you:

The 1951 Refugee Convention spells out that a refugee is someone who “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country.”

So, based on that, Syrians who flee remain refugees regardless of the country they find themselves in until Syria is a safe place for them to be.

It makes me feel a bit sick and upset that you would have read the stories of Aylan Kurdi and thousands like him, innocent victims stuck between the government of Bashar Al Asaad, who used chemical weapons on his own people, and ISIS, and accuse them of looking for 5-star treatment because they didn’t stop in the first country they landed in. You have no idea what happened when they were in Turkey, or why they made the decision to keep moving.

I’m an economic migrant. I live in Qatar because it is more financially lucrative for me to live here than in my home country, Ireland. To equate that with what these people have gone through is disingenuous, cruel and wrong.

WTF
WTF
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

Perhaps you should read the entire Convention prior to jumping to conclusions. Read on, there is a section prohibiting the cherry-picking of the country where assylum is sought

Katie
5 years ago
Reply to  WTF

I’m not the one jumping to conclusions. You’re the one stating as fact that they were going to Germany for five-star treatment – that’s jumping to conclusions. You asked for a definition and I gave you one.

WTF
WTF
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

Well, let me see, Germany is not a Muslim country, the language, tradition, cr climate are not the same, why would people from Syria or Afghanistan be so keen on getting there? Must be the sauerkraut and bratwurst, I suppose

Katie
5 years ago
Reply to  WTF

And there was you accusing me of jumping to conclusions – that’s rich.

Maybe after having their whole lives torn apart by war, they wanted the safety and security of being in an EU country. Maybe they knew the labour market meant they’d have a better chance of finding work and building a life. Who knows? I don’t, so I’m not going to assume the worst of them.

WTF
WTF
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

Your posts and your blog speak for themselves, no need to accuse you of anything

Katie
5 years ago
Reply to  WTF

“Your posts and your blog speak for themselves”

… That is the idea!

Goodnight WTF, sleep well. Peace and light.

Katie

WTF
WTF
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

Big hug, Katie, good night and sweet dreams

The Avenger
The Avenger
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

“I want a house in Sloane Square and i want one now , give me it it’s my right i want a better life”
Sounds a bit stupid doesn’t it ?

The Reporter
The Reporter
5 years ago
Reply to  WTF

Because in the cities Germany has a very high proportion of Turkish Muslims who were brought over after the war to do the jobs that the Germans didn’t want to do. Also the current over-benevolent political generation of Germany has not yet stopped apologising for WW2 so it is not prepared to risk comparisons with the past.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

Of course they are! Germany, UK and Scandinavia is where they want to be. Free housing, unemployment benefit, free healthcare and free pension. Why stay in Greece Hungary or Italy when al those juicy benefited are waiting

Sara
Sara
5 years ago
Reply to  Katie

I was a refugee during the Bosnian war, and we were not choosy where we ended up as long as we could be alive so that we could return to our homeland and rebuild and be with family.
We did not know when we could go back home, but we never abandoned it. My mother and father even stayed to fight and help but sent me and my siblings away.
Bosnia is still a recovering nation, with a poor economy, and a long ways to go. I feel very sad for these people…but I do find it odd to be a refugee and be choosy of where one wants to go, sometimes refusing to follow the rules of the country such as not filing paper work (large problem in Hungary). I was grateful for whatever I got and whoever helped, didn’t matter where I was.

truth
truth
5 years ago
Reply to  WTF

absolutely agree with you. among all refugees camps for Syrians, the camps in Turkey are the best if you can say so, unfortunately some people think a “better” life expect them in Europe.

Kz
Kz
5 years ago
Reply to  The Avenger

Greece- rising unemployment, worseinig economic woes.
Bulgaria, romania, turkey- people from these places are all migrating to Western europe. That tells you the state of theae countries. There are no jobs or economic means for their own citizens. The refugees might be choosing germany cause they see a better future for themselves- to get good jobs, proper good education for their children. Also many of them are graduates wh know their chances of getting a job are good in germany and not in bulgaria or romania where mang live in deep poverty.

The Avenger
The Avenger
5 years ago
Reply to  Kz

They’re going because you get ‘Free Stuff’ you know it and i know it .

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago

Meanwhile at the next GCC conference delegates argue over whether to have the lamb or the beef.

Bajn
Bajn
5 years ago

I’m hoping none of the immigrants grow up to be radicalized and turn against their hosts.

O
O
5 years ago

Seeing a 2 y.0 boy drowned just to escape from his chaotic country is so heartbreaking. Qatar on the hand is so silent in helping their Muslim brother, does this means anything?

Curiosity Killed the Cat
Curiosity Killed the Cat
5 years ago
Reply to  O

I think it strange that Qatar would prefer to bring in thousands of workers each month from far away places with little or no religious or cultural similarity than give a job to a fellow Muslim, who is fleeing his nearby Arabic war torn country and just wants to work and provide a roof over his family.

AFT
AFT
5 years ago

Perhaps we can learn and take to heart what Mercy means and reflect on the other side of the situation, what if the party which could have the choice to show mercy would one be need of mercy ?

Reward for kindness
and compassion was also assured by the Prophet Muhammad: “The merciful are shown mercy by the All-Merciful. Show mercy to those on earth, and He Who is in heaven will show mercy unto you” (As-Suyuti).

For the Orphans

When Allah mentioned orphans in the Qur’an He said what means: {Therefore, treat not the orphans with harshness} (Al-Duha 93:9). In accordance with this verse came the manners of the Prophet towards orphans, for he said, “I and the person who looks after an orphan and provides for him, will be in Paradise like this,” putting his index and middle fingers together.

In order to make the orphan feel appreciated and that if he has lost the affection of his parents there are still people who are willing to love and care for him, the Prophet encouraged kindness by saying that a person is rewarded by good deeds for each hair he strokes on an orphan’s head.

In Times of War

As for times of war, Allah commands Muslims to grant refuge to enemies if they should
ask for it, and forbids anyone to harm them. This is stated in the
Qur’an, where Allah says what means: {If one amongst the pagans ask thee for asylum, grant it to him, so that he may hear the word of Allah; and then escort him to where he can be secure. That is because they are men without knowledge}
(At-Tawbah 9:6).

The Reporter
The Reporter
5 years ago
Reply to  AFT

With respect (and I do mean that) Qur’an 5:51. Qur’an 5:80. are just two examples of who are enemies of Islam and how they should be treated. The problem is that different verses can be picked out of the Qur’an to justify the particular agenda – for example ISIS justify the beheading of their “enemies” on the texts of the Qur’an and I have absolutely no doubt that they are sincere in their beliefs.

Myrddin
Myrddin
5 years ago
Reply to  AFT

You mean a bit of Cultural Re-education – you have one opportunity to accept the knowledge, or it’s off for for an off the shoulder haircut?

Expat77
Expat77
5 years ago

The reason refugees flee to Europe is that they get permanent residence or citizenship over time. While in GCC they get work permit or annual residency only. Even is safety is the same for the refugees they rather learn a new language and culture in Europe rather than be at mercy of neighbouring govt!

Huzz
Huzz
5 years ago
Reply to  Expat77

Also in the Gulf they are just swapping one dictatorship for another.

Katie
5 years ago

If anyone would like to make a donation to Save the Children’s Syria campaign, here’s the link: https://secure.savethechildren.org/site/c.8rKLIXMGIpI4E/b.9311303/k.5B10/Donate_to_the_Child_Refugee_Crisis_Relief_Fund/apps/ka/sd/donor.asp

Abu Hamid
Abu Hamid
5 years ago

Salam everyone. What is happening in Syria is tragic. So perhaps we can all think about a way to help the people in Syria together. Let us find a way to confirm our collective humanity no matter our religion, race, ethnicity or nationality. One idea maybe to ask the banks in Qatar to open accounts for donations. If we each donate a certain percentage of our salaries, then we ask the Qatari government and business leaders to match or double whatever we collectively donate. The donations can go to US Fund for UNICEF(It has high ratings on Charity Navigator (http://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=search.programs&orgid=4617#.VesSnRGqqko). Over 90% of funds go to programs helping people and they have a program on Syrian children. Since the UN represents us all in one way or another and we all care about children, then by pooling our collective donations we can perhaps push for more assistance to people who need it.

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago
Reply to  Abu Hamid

While it is important that everyone contributes, I think a tragedy of this scale can only be solved by countries not individuals.

The Reporter
The Reporter
5 years ago
Reply to  Abu Hamid

How about taking a refugee into your house? It’s actually happening in the UK.

kz
kz
5 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

but how will that refugee get a visa?

WTF
WTF
5 years ago

Qatari commenters are conspicuously absent from this thread.

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  WTF

Yep. They’re embarrassed and don’t want to openly admit they don’t want them here.

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

Many of them do not want refugees here. They are more than happy to donate more money to them but that’s it. They only donate money but they are not willing to share the burden of rehoming these refugees with other countries. I have seen some on Twitter even talking about an international conspiracy to destroy the GCC by pressuring them to host refugees. I don’t know how is this conspiracy and who is behind it but I am reporting what I have read 🙂

The Reporter
The Reporter
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

There is also talk of an Arab conspiracy to accelerate the Islamification of Europe by leaving the refugees no option but to go there

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

It must be the season for conspiracy theories. In the meantime, refugees are dying…

MIMH
MIMH
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

It’s the new paradigm. Disagree we a non white person, racist! Disagree with a Muslim, islamophobe! Uncomfortable political situation, blame the west as a conspiracy against Arabs, Muslims, oil etc!

It’s funny they think it’s a conspiracy when it was the Saudi and Qatar governments funding rebel groups against Assad, but then again the Americans made them do that …..;)

Randy Edi Arameniya
Randy Edi Arameniya
5 years ago

You see the Gulf countries are running away from the evil they started, they orchestrate and plan every turmoil in the middle east just for their own greed. Muslims in the world where is the gulf countries that you all bow down to and worship with your feet and hands tied to the stake ? Where is the moral obligation of Saudi Arabia that the muslims pay to attend Hajj and other stuffs ? What does the Imams preach so this is all it destroying their religion by their very own selves WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE DOWNFALL IS YET TO BEGIN, THE DESERT WILL RETURN, THE VULTURES WILL TAKE OVER JUST LIKE BEFORE. DUST WILL BE THEIR BREAKFAST, STONES WILL BE THEIR LUNCH, THEIR KIDS WILL BE THEIR DINNER. THE Corpus Christianum CAN NEVER BE ERASED, NOT EVEN THE WHOLE MUSLIM CAN BRING DOWN THE CHURCH OF CHRIST. THOSE WHO KILLED THE CHRISTIANS AND BURNT THE CHURCH OF GOD, SUFFERING POVERTY AND DISEASE WILL COME DOWN AND CONSUME THEM ALL.

Randy Edi Arameniya
Randy Edi Arameniya
5 years ago

You see the Gulf countries are running away from the evil they started, they orchestrate and plan every turmoil in the middle east just for their own greed. Muslims in the world where is the gulf countries that you all bow down to and worship with your feet and hands tied to the stake ? Where is the moral obligation of Saudi Arabia that the muslims pay to attend Hajj and other stuffs ? What does the Imams preach so this is all it destroying their religion by their very own selves WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE DOWNFALL IS YET TO BEGIN, THE DESERT WILL RETURN, THE VULTURES WILL TAKE OVER JUST LIKE BEFORE. DUST WILL BE THEIR BREAKFAST, STONES WILL BE THEIR LUNCH, THEIR KIDS WILL BE THEIR DINNER. THE Corpus Christianum CAN NEVER BE ERASED, NOT EVEN THE WHOLE MUSLIM CAN BRING DOWN THE CHURCH OF CHRIST. THOSE WHO KILLED THE CHRISTIANS AND BURNT THE CHURCH OF GOD, SUFFERING POVERTY AND DISEASE WILL COME DOWN AND CONSUME THEM ALL.

The Reporter
The Reporter
5 years ago

MIMH describes the GCC inaction as shocking. I describe it as sickening, but I’m not shocked. The myth of the “brotherhood of Muslims” has been totally destroyed in the last three years, to be replaced by the truth – of greed, of self-protection, of religious intolerance, and most of all of inhumanity and a total lack of compassion. The gulf states are protagonists in the war in Syria and Iraq, having funded various rebel factions who’s true intent is still not clear, but when it comes to the question of helping the victims of the war by giving them refuge the silence is deafening and the borders remain as tightly shut as ever. Why are the refugees heading for Europe? – because they know that however bad Europe might be they can expect some humanity and charity – something that they know will never be offered by the gulf states. In Berlin, some Muslims have even converted to Christianity in the hope that it will give them a better chance of remaining there. There is even the thought that the hard stance of the Arab world is an attempt to accelerate the Islamification of Europe – with the past words of the King of KSA when he asked the British Prime Minister “when will the call to prayer be broadcast in Britain” now being recalled in the press. You need to understand that the ordinary people of Europe, people who’s future has been severely impacted by the economic downturn of the last decade, now additionally see themselves as victims of a peak in the interminable war between the Shia and the Sunni, and yet when struggling themselves they are expected to financially support the victims of that war. As a result the differences between Islam and Christianity and the inability of the two cultures to integrate is growing louder. I’m not making this up – in the UK the press is reflecting the feelings of people who believe their do-gooding politicians have now finally deserted them, and that has groundswell of feeling has already been reflected in massive swings to the right in recent elections throughout Europe. In 2 years there will be a referendum in the UK on whether we remain in Europe – and the biggest issue will not be our trading balance of payments – it will be about border control. I don’t think anyone could predict the outcome of that referendum at the moment, but in the next two years it may become a lot clearer.

Yacine
Yacine
5 years ago
Reply to  The Reporter

It seems like you forget, may be purposefully, that the UK is behind the mess in the Middle East, and that what is going on Syria is a proxy war between Russia, Iran and Hezbollah on one side, and the USA, UK, Turkey and Qatar on the other side. If it was only Assad against his people or against ISIS, he would have been defeated in the first year.

Myrddin
Myrddin
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

I hardly think UK can be accredited with the exclusivity you award them, a significant player yes, but wholly culpable, no.

As for Syria, the UK Parliament voted not to get involved, which caused much gnashing of teeth in the Arab world, who appear to expect the West to jump in and sort out their regional problems for them.
Same old same old! In the eyes of the Arabs, the West is damned if it does, or damned if it doesn’t.

KSA, one of the major contributors, has the 3rd largest military budget in the world, why doesn’t it sort out its neighbours’ problems, rather than pontificating about what the evil west is or isn’t doing.

I completely disagree with your final statement, if Assad’s opponents were not funded in the early stages, giving rise to the significant gains by the FSA and/or ISIS, he would have put down the resistance in true dictator fashion?

The only faction to come out with any honour intact is the Kurds, and now they have to defend themselves against Turkey.

I think you vastly oversimplify a very complicated situation?

The Reporter
The Reporter
5 years ago
Reply to  Yacine

Yacine. For goodness sake stop reading the popular press. ISIS, the cause of the turmoil in the Middle East and the refugee crisis, represents itself and is neither an ally of the east or the west. Qatar and KSA saw the opportunity to take advantage of the aftermath of the deposing of Saddam and the rebellion in Syria to fund rebel groups from both countries to overthrow Assad, and Al Qaida and other Islamist groups jumped on the bandwagon and out of that mess ISIS was formed. Instead of being an Arab Brotherhood the Arab states made their choice in the aftermath of WW2 of who to bribe for support of their undemocratic despotic regimes hence Russia and the West get drawn inexorably into any conflict, and that’s why Russian troops are now in Damascus – firstly to defend it against ISIS and then to defend it against any subsequent western threat. The issue is, as it always was, is oil, but to suggest that it’s all the fault of the west (why pick on the UK?) and that the Arab world is blameless is ridiculous.

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
5 years ago

Don’t the GCC states have compassion for their Muslims peers? Compassion…..something I rarely see around here

The Reporter
The Reporter
5 years ago

Looks

Scarletti
Scarletti
5 years ago

‘The wealthiest country in the world’….. so how many thousands are you taking in Qatar to help fellow Arabs ? …. 42 ! shameful !

The Reporter
The Reporter
5 years ago

I’m not always impressed with DN because I think that controversial subjects are sometimes raised merely to give the impression that the consciousness of the nation has been awakened – but in this case I think the tone of the writing is genuine in it’s aims.

Myrddin
Myrddin
5 years ago

As far as the non-Muslim Syrians are concerned, they should be given straightforward asylum! Not only are they in genuine fear for their lives, as has been evidenced on a daily basis, but they would be in genuine fear of suffering the most disgusting fates that one human being can dream of inflicting on another.

For the Shia, and other non-Sunni sects, they too would have a genuine fear of being under IS control.

As for the Sunni – I would have thought that IS offer the perfect life, either they can embrace it and join them, or if not, perhaps it’s time to seriously consider apostasy? Any true apostate should be given asylum too.

What is not wanted in the EU, is those granted asylum, who settle in, then start protesting on European streets for the introduction of Shariah law. If that is what they want, grant them their wish and deport them to IS, where they can have all the Shariah law they want?

Ann
Ann
5 years ago

The fact is that GCC countries never denied the refuges. But they prefer Europe than an Islamic nation.

fullmoon07
fullmoon07
5 years ago

“security reasons”? Syrians no, Taliban yes…..ok there is a saying in my country keep the enemy close and be his friend…but what’s going on in Syria is in-human and humanity has already lost!

Sam777
Sam777
5 years ago

Sorry but why isn’t Qatar or Saudi Arabia taking in Syrians? These people are Muslim like them.. Can someone genuinely say why?