Why Syrian and Middle Eastern refugees flee to Europe and not to their affluent Arab neighboring states


SwedenTakesInMoreMigrants-300There are ‘complaints’ that affluent Arab countries such as the Gulf States and Saudi Arabia are not contributing their share and providing asylum to Syrian and other Middle Eastern refugees. Let’s get things straight: those Syrian and other Middle Eastern refugees are fleeing to – and knocking on the doors of – European Union countries because that’s where they want to be.

Had the refugees considered their Arab and Middle Eastern neighbors as desirable destinations, they would have proceeded to those countries instead, considering that those neighboring Arab and Middle Eastern nations are a lot closer and much easier to enter.

The refugees risk their lives – together with those of their sometimes infant children – to cross mountains, seas and intervening lands just to get to their chosen place on earth.

Since the refugees do not intend to – and are not interested in – seeking asylum in their neighboring Arab countries, it would be inane for those countries to offer succor to their misplaced brethren. Any such offer of asylum by the Arab countries would simply be rejected by the refugees.

MigrantsDashAcrossBorderToGermany-530Syrian and other Middle Eastern refugees are escaping a war and persecution, and are grabbing at an opportunity to flee to a place where they can rebuild their lives – a place where they could be productively employed and, more importantly, where they could enjoy freedom from autocratic or theocratic rule.

Every person on earth wants to live in a place where they are free to exercise their basic human rights: their freedom of speech and religion, and their right to pursue happiness. When one lives in an autocratic or religious state or society, those freedoms are suppressed and even denied.

Every person on earth wants to be productively employed, to have a family, and to participate harmoniously in the social milieu. It does not matter the form of government they fall under, or the kind of society they live in, or the part of the world they end up in – as long as they are able to live freely, productively and peaceably among their fellowmen.

Unless Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Arab states provide the media and conditions for a good human life, no refugee would – in their right mind – seek or accept their hospitality.

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About Julius Willis

A former Philippines newspaperman and businessman, Julius resettled in California, USA, where he simultaneously worked as an instructional and technical writer and engineering department manager and taught college for 26 years. Now retired, he serves as a member of the City of Hayward's Planning Commission, the Alameda County Housing & Community Development Advisory Committee, and the Advisory Board of CSU-East Bay's Center For Filipino Studies. He is also on Hayward's General Plan Task Force.
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