I call myself a blogger. I’m a mummy but for those that struggle to see that as enough of a role in itself, I call myself a blogger. It’s fun, I’d love to be able to turn it into something but for now, I’m pretty relaxed. I occasionally write about products. I give my opinion to help you reach yours. I’m supposed to be writing about a product now. The problem is though, the timing. Blogging is all about self promotion. Sharing your pictures of your photoshopped day, the rainbows and smiles and the laughter filled moments. But how do you share it right now? How do you update your status with frivolous sunshine when so many are mourning and living in hell?
I have scrolled past the pictures, turned the tv channel over, declined to read so much but that’s not good enough. Until I connect with what is going on, I will not learn. Nothing will change. We need to instigate change. So many of us don’t want to see the photo. But we have no choice.
I have never written about anything political before and I never thought I would. I don’t see myself as clever enough or informed enough but this is how I see it.
Red top newspapers need burning. They’ve created such feeling about these greedy migrants who want our benefits, our houses, a cushy life in the UK. They want it. They had a home but they chose to leave it. Greedy, greedy.
But that’s not the truth. These people are not Migrants. Immigrants. They are refugee’s but before that, they are Humans.
The people in these boats are desperate. No parent would board an over crowded boat with their precious children and no life jackets. They bring nothing with them. They most likely have nothing. They are fleeing what we can only imagine.
How many of us felt our blood run cold when so many Brits were killed on the beach in Turkey? It really could have been any of us. You didn’t have to be adventurous or stupid to put yourself in harms way. You could be simply trying to relax or live your life and you could find yourself in a war zone.
It’s getting closer.
As the war gets closer, the innocent get closer. Where should they go? Should they just stay there and accept that it’s their fate? They were born there and so they have to endure the war around them?
Just think for a minute.
Take yourself back to a time when you travelled with the kids. Out of routine and without their belongings and favourite toys, different food and drink. Tired, hot and cold.
It is horrible and unsettling and exhausting.
Now think of these refugees. Fleeing for their lives. Not for relaxation. Leaving their precious memories, photos, belongings behind. Toys? They have the clothes on their backs.
These families aren’t lugging their tommee tippee sterilisers with them or Milton tablets or a box of Sma. They have nothing. No nappies. No clothes. No food.
Think about it. Really think about. Babies in soiled nappies with no food. Toddlers wet and cold. Children hungry and terrified. Parents desperate, hearts breaking.
Boarding boats with fear and terror but no choice. Guns and war or the tiniest hope that the sea will not swallow them.
Think of those that reach a country of relative safety. Days of travel, no sleep and no food. Babies with nappy rash, teething and bruises. Exhausted parents trying to shelter them. Are they welcomed? Smiled at? Does anyone even make eye contact? No. They are treated like rats. Like cockroaches. They are held at borders, train stations.
They are greedy and want to steal our iPhones. They want our jewellery. They want to get their grubby hands on cash to blow on alcohol and cigarettes and McDonald’s.
Or do they?
A smile. Eye contact. Compassion. Some food and water. Dry clothes for their children. That’s all they want. I doubt they can even imagine being settled in a house somewhere, someday. They can hardly stand with exhaustion, fear and horror from what they have witnessed. Woman still menstruate with no sanitary provisions. Children still soil underwear when their are non to replace. They don’t want our houses right now, our jobs or our cash. A blanket, some clothes and our out of date food would be more than some can dream of.
These people have seen things that don’t even enter our nightmares.
I think that’s why so many people are turning a blind eye. We cannot comprehend what they have lived. We are desensitised by computer games and horror films.
I don’t think many of us can comprehend the big things, the utter gravity of this situation. That’s why when I imagine a father, his wife and two boys, squeezing into a crowded boat, I imagined the jolts and the wobbles and the cries of the children. The splashes of cold water as the waves hit. The fear and the nausea of the boat rolling. The smells and the screams. The darkness and the cold. I imagine them trying to shelter their children. Maybe singing to try and comfort them. I know how I would feel. I know how my son would feel. This alone makes my heart break.
I don’t think many of us have not seen the image of Ayaln Kurdi, laying on the sand. He was 3, the same age as my son. He faced fear and terror that I can only hope never to endure. His Father lost his wife and two sons after paying a smuggler to help them leave a turkey for Greece. They had fled as ISIS advanced, last year. I don’t know when last year but last year means a minimum of 10 months living hand to mouth with nothing.
His Daddy is Abdullah. His brother was Galup and his Mummy was Rhian.
“My first son died from the high waves. I was obliged to leave him to save the other one,” he said.
Mr Kurdi said his second son then died, and he could see foam coming from his mouth. “I left him and went to save my wife who I found dead as well,” he said.
“After that I stayed in the water for three hours before the coastguards came and saved me.”
Mr Kurdi said he wanted the world’s attention on what had happened to his family so the same thing would not be repeated.
“The things that happened to us here, in the country where we took refuge to escape war in our homeland, we want the whole world to see this,” he said.
“We want the world’s attention on us, so that they can prevent the same from happening to others. Let this be the last.” Click here to read the full article from Channel 4
There are ways that we can help. The Guardian has shared ideas that don’t just include giving money. Click here to read the article
I read a very interesting article in the Washington Post. The writer, Liz Sly, defends why she tweeted the picture of Aylan Kurdi, face down, on the beach in Turkey.
She says: ‘A video showed the waves lapping against his tiny body, as though even the sea was paying respect. Instead of swallowing him, never to be found, it carried him gently ashore and deposited him on the sand — where he would be found by other people, the only ones who can do anything to stop this from happening in the future, to other children.’
I hope that she is right.
Please, please, listen to Mermaids and Sand (Ocean Floor) by Spoken Word Poet and Artist, Hollie McNish. She published this is 2014 but it is never more poignant than now.