Drowned Syrian boy Aylan’s aunt speaks

Aylan (L) and his brother Ghalib Kurdi (photo courtesy of Tima Kurdi)

From RT.com:

West ‘did nothing’ to end war in Syria, says aunt of drowned Syrian boy

Published time: 13 Feb, 2017 10:31
Edited time: 13 Feb, 2017 17:19

The Western countries have done nothing to resolve the Syrian crisis, pursuing their false narrative instead, while the real situation in Syria stays underreported, the aunt of a Syrian refugee toddler who drowned in 2015 on his way to Europe told RT.

Our country is being destroyed by outsiders,” said Tima Kurdi – a Syrian-born Canadian lawyer and the aunt of Aylan Kurdi, a three-year-old Syrian boy who died in September 2015 en route to the Greek island of Kos from Turkey – adding that “Western countries are not doing anything” about that.

She said the death of her nephew became “a wake-up call to the world, a message from God, who told us [that] enough is enough,” adding that the Syrian people “were suffering for four years [at that time] and Syria was crying out to the world for help but nobody was hearing” to these pleas, as “there was not enough media coverage until” the picture of the body of her nephew washed ashore in Turkish resort city of Bodrum made global headlines.

That image prompted politicians in many Western countries to open their borders and take in refugees. However, “months later, they started to forget that image and just got back to their everyday business, but the suffering [of the Syrian people] continued,” Kurdi said.

She went on to say that the West not only did “nothing to end this terrible war,” but also conducted a “terrible” regime change policy in Syria that actually only made the situation even worse. The Western funding of the so-called moderate rebels only prolongs the suffering of the Syrian people, Kurdi stressed, adding that “there are no moderate rebels in Syria.”

“When [Western governments] fund the ‘moderate’ rebels, their [aid] somehow eventually ends up in the hands of the most powerful groups on the ground, which are Al-Nusra Front and Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL],” she said.

The military solution would never work in Syria, Kurdi said, and “we will just see more suffering and more people will die.” She added that she does not take any side in this conflict and supports neither Syrian President Bashar Assad nor the opposition, but she had talked to many Syrians who live in refugee camps in Turkey, and believes that the Western media coverage of the Syrian conflict is biased.

The Western media report that “only President Bashar [Assad] kills his own people,” she said, adding that this sounds absurd to the Syrians. “I want people to understand one thing: if President Assad wants to stay in power in his country, he has to fight for his country but he would not kill his own people as he needs their support.”

The reports in the West on Syria “do not make sense,” as “there is more than just the [Syrian] government and Russia there, there are many rebels, who are fighting and killing my people,” she said, adding that “nobody [in the West] reports about rape” committed by the rebels and stressing that those stories are “terrible.”

Tima Kurdi admitted that Assad’s forces “did hurt the Syrian people,” but did so unintentionally. She also stressed that Syria was “peaceful and safe” before the war.

“Most Syrian people were just living their lives before the war and did not get involved in any politics,” she said, adding that “all kinds of religions” co-existed peacefully in Syria. “Sunni, Shia, Druze, Alawites, Christians – we all lived together and respected each other,” Kurdi, who was born and initially lived in Damascus, told RT, adding that “most Syrian people did not want to leave their homes” when the war came.

She then addressed the issue of the refugee crisis and said that the only way to stop it is to put an end to the war in Syria.

“I encourage the governments of each country to help find a political solution and [to stop violence] in my country. Bring peace to Syria so that you won’t need to see those refugees anymore,” she told RT.

Kurdi also asked people around the world to be more compassionate towards refugees.

“We need to help those suffering refugees. They have a right to be protected and they are peaceful people, like me and you. There is no difference. We need to help them rebuild their lives and welcome them with open arms until their country is safe to go back,” Kurdi said.

“I want people around the world to understand one thing: what will you do if you will be forced to leave your country one day and leave everything behind? What would you want the others to do for you? Do it for my people!” she added.

More than 200 migrants are believed to have died trying to cross the Mediterranean last weekend, according to the UNHCR, the United Nations refugee organization. They are feared to have drowned when the rubber boats into which they were packed by smugglers deflated and sank: here.

36 thoughts on “Drowned Syrian boy Aylan’s aunt speaks

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  8. Wednesday 10th May 2017

    posted by Morning Star in World

    UP TO 245 refugees were feared dead yesterday after two people-trafficking boats sank in the Mediterranean Sea.

    Dozens of rescued survivors spoke of their ordeal in Sicily where they were treated for hypothermia and exhaustion.

    One group told how traffickers had crammed 130-140 people, apparently all from central African countries, into a motorised rubber dinghy designed to hold no more than 20.

    The dinghy started deflating at one end, the passengers shifted their positions in the boat and the craft capsized.

    The 50 or so survivors clung to the wreckage for hours until they were spotted by a patrol plane and rescued by a Danish cargo ship dispatched by the Italian Coast Guard.

    One survivor was a Nigerian woman whose five-month-old baby died.

    Meanwhile the International Medical Corps reported a shipwreck on Sunday off the Libyan coast in which 163 people are missing and feared dead.



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  22. Aunt of Syrian toddler Alan Kurdi calls for compassion

    The photograph of 2-year-old Alan Kurdi’s lifeless body washed up on a Turkish beach shocked the world in 2015. Three years later his family says that the West has a responsibility to help Syrian refugees.

    The aunt of 2-year-old refugee Alan Kurdi, whose lifeless body was famously photographed washed up on a Turkish beach in 2015, wants his image to be a permanent reminder of the suffering of refugees.

    Tima Kurdi told DW that she struggled to look at the photo of her deceased nephew, but that she and her family must “swallow our pain” to bring awareness to the world.

    “Thousands of children continue to die until today and the world is silent. This image should be a permanent reminder,” Kurdi told DW’s What Happened Next show, speaking from Iraq.

    What would you do?

    She said she wants Europe to know that no refugees willingly leave their home, and wish to return when they can. She said Western leaders had an obligation to end the conditions that lead to refugees fleeing their home.

    “Can you imagine yourself in their situation? What would you do?” she asked.

    “I do understand that every country has a limit, and we’re seeing huge numbers of refugees coming in. But I also understand that when you support one side of the war in those countries, you are responsible for the cause of the refugee crisis.

    “Until we find a solution to stop the war and the crises in those countries, refugees have the right to seek asylum and to be in a safe place. Until then all those countries should take in refugees.”

    Italy ‘inhumane’

    Kurdi criticized Italy in particular for its recent hard-line approach to migrants arriving by sea.

    “It’s very, very sad, especially in Italy. It really hurts me so much that they are almost saying, ‘Let them die in those boats and drown and I’m not opening my border.’ What kind of a human being can even have or say this kind of message. This is unacceptable and inhumane.”

    “Italy supported the war in Libya. So you support the war in Libya, you are responsible for the cause.”

    Father struggling

    Kurdi said her brother Abdullah Kurdi, Alan’s father, was devastated by his son’s death. He had been trying to flee IS and the Syrian civil war when he decided to pay people smugglers to take him and his family to the Greek Island of Kos, having had their refugee application rejected by Canada.

    Tima, already an accepted refugee in Canada, paid for the trip. But the tiny boat capsized five minutes after leaving Turkey and Abdullah’s wife and two sons drowned.

    “He is still struggling to move on. Every time I ask him, he says, ‘My life ended the minute my family, my boys, slipped from my hand.’ The only thing that gives him hope … is to work on the Kurdi Foundation, to help the children affected by war.”

    He and Tima started the foundation to help children affected by the war in Syria. Tima’s memoir “The Boy on the Beach” was published in April.



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