Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Bleeding heart

Trading Tables is next week and I've already got five garbage bags full of stuff to get rid of. Five!

That's what living in a house for three full years will do for you. I'm going through cupboards and closets and drawers and saying to myself, "Self, we haven't used this ever in this house. It's been sitting here for three years taking up space." And into the giveaway bag it goes.

I saw a post on Facebook last night about a charity accepting baby slings and carriers to send to Greece to help outfit Syrian refugees. I'd put two baby carriers in the giveaway bag. I love wearing my babies, but after eight years of baby wearing I've certainly developed "favourite" carriers so I decided to ditch the ones I never use anymore. They're in the Trading Tables bag but I thought I'd dig them out to send to Greece (actually to Colorado where another person would send them to Greece (international shipping is quite expensive)).

But then a friend—who I met in Egypt but who now lives in Jordan—hopped on and said, "Just send them to me and I'll take them directly to the Syrian refugee camps here!"

So that's what I'm going to do (since I can ship to her without paying international shipping prices).

And, frankly, Jordan's dear to my heart and they've taken in so many refugees (1 in 13 people in Jordan is a Syrian refugee (when we were living there I feel like there were more Iraqi refugees)); they could use the help.

We won't speak about how Israel is building a fence to keep refugees out, but I will say that I just finished reading Rose Under Fire and, wow. It was no Hogan's Heroes, I'll tell you that much. Of course, Hogan's Heroes was about life in a POW camp (and was a comedy) and Rose Under Fire is about life in a concentration camp (and was anything but a comedy).

Finishing that book and then reading Netanyahu's little blurb about being unable to take in refugees made me smirk and think, "Nice."

Israel's gross domestic product is $36,051 per capita, nearly seven times the GDP of Jordan ($5,214), and yet Jordan can help with refugees and Israel can't?!



Miriam was so sweet today when I was talking about this—the war in Syria, etc—with the kids.

She immediately started ticking off extra sleeping spaces on her fingers.

"We have the single air mattress," she said. "And the double air mattress. That's three. Then I guess someone could sleep on the couch. So we could take three, maybe four, refugees!"

Unfortunately, that's not quite how it works. They have to actually get into the country first.

Other countries have been so hospitable. In Germany, for example, people are cheering the arriving refugees on, while handing out donations of food and clothing. The people of Iceland successfully petitioned their government to accept more refugees. I hope we can follow their example.

It's hard to believe that The Arab Spring has withered so tragically. We've never been to Syria, but we've partied with people who have, and we've been following the happenings in the region since...forever...because Andrew. I'm happy the world finally seems to be opening its eyes (and heart). Helping is so much easier when so many are helping at once!


  1. I was talking to my Syrian friend this evening on Skype, and he said, "Can you believe I moved here (to Germany) six years ago this month, and now MY people are coming here as refugees?!" He told me about one of our favorite people whom we met at the hostel where he was employed. Abu Muhammad (aka Bob) contacted Samer recently on Facebook about coming to Germany. Samer thinks he is in Serbia now.

    I wonder if Syrians would want to go to Israel. I remember when Samer talked about how much he and his people hated that country. We'd "fight them with our teeth" if they came here, he said once upon a time.

    1. There *are* Syrian Jews, so...maybe some would. Though you're right--the majority are Muslim and probably wouldn't choose to migrate somewhere where they'd be guaranteed to be second-class citizens.

    2. I wonder if Syrian Jews would be able to return with the Law of Return that I've heard about. I think as long as they are Jewish, they are eligible.

      Now I'm curious how many Jews live in Syria! :)

    3. About 50 in 2012--so not many!