Dec 17, 2016
The Syrian Refugees in Tunisia
More than five years now have elapsed and the world is still qualifying what is happening in Syria as incomprehensible. Yet, what is comprehensible for Syrians and the Arab world at large is the fact that Syria is lost between the Assad regime and the multi-faceted opposition. The figures provided by The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a small network of activists and informants, are probably much higher but point to nearly quarter of a million people who were killed and an estimated 9 million Syrians who have fled their homes since the outbreak of civil war in March 2011.
Thousands of Syrians flee their country every day. The journey to the border is fraught with risks and can be as high as staying: Families are obliged to walk for miles through the night to avoid being shot at by snipers or being caught by soldiers who will kidnap young men to fight for the regime. Hundreds of thousands of refugees are also attempting the dangerous trip across the Mediterranean Sea from Turkey to Greece or from Tunisia and Libya to Italy, hoping to find a better future in Europe. Not all of them make it across alive.
The number of Syrians who stay presently, in tunisia stands, according to the results of a survey on the children of the Syrian and Libyan communities in Tunisia, between 9,000 and 12,000. They live under difficult circumstances both at the social and economic levels. In World Bulletin / News Desk (03 September 2015), the former interim president of Tunisia, Moncef Marzouki, called upon his country to open its doors to Syrians fleeing violence and war in their homeland. Marzouki said that what is happening to Syrians is a “human tragedy” and a test for all Arabs, and the values of Arabism and humanity. In a press statement, he also said :
“I urge our government to open the door to our Syrian brothers and to promote Tunisian civil society to extend a helping hand to our people in martyred Syria. We impressed the world in the year 2011 by the way we dealt with the influx of Libyans and now the time has come to do our duty towards the Syrians.”
Then, he continued:
“I am confident that thousands of Tunisian families will be happy to share their bread and houses or otherwise, the tragedy will forever remain a stain on everyone's conscience.”
On a larger scale, it should be noted that statements and words have never saved Refugees. They are receiving little international support. The Syria Refugee Crisis signals on the one hand the loss of Syria between the Assad regime and the multi-faceted opposition and the loss of Syrians who fled their country choosing death-trap boats over a living hell on the other hand.