EDITORIAL: Seeking Refuge

Aylan Kurdi – a Syrian toddler, was found dead on a Turkish shoreline. This picture made global headlines, some tabloids even claimed “the world will never forget this image”. The image of refugees traversing thousands of miles on foot, through treacherous conditions in the hope of a better life is not a new image, yet it is one that is forgotten as new images of destruction arise. Numerous examples exist throughout the century of such a “crisis”. Indeed the very term migrant “crisis” inspires question. Who is in crisis, European States or the refugees searching for a measure of stability and security?

For Armenians, the images of the refugees in the past few months are something we are accustomed to. For we, like millions of other people in the 20th century, were also in a similar situation a century ago. The difference between then and now is the televised and popularised nature of images and videos for the current migrant crisis. The similarity is the admirable response by many citizens of Europe coupled with a superficial response by governments. These superficial responses fail to tackle the real issues, the real issues are not the capital Britain invests in a refugee camp; but the somewhat confusing politics of the Middle East which sees Britain’s allies, Turkey, fighting the Kurds; the Kurds are one of the main forces repelling the Islamic State.

As a population who can relate with refugees and those seeking a better life, we might know better than others as to what we can do to help whilst demanding a proper response from our governments. To do otherwise would be as contradictory as an Armenian migrant who arrived in the UK decades ago neglecting present day Armenian migrants. This is a confused analogue acting as  NATO Middle Eastern policy.

— Vahe Boghosian

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