Little Cyprus, my country, stands at a crossroads. It straddles three continents, being very near Syria, Egypt and Israel, not forgetting our big ambitious neighbour, Turkey.
In recent years, we have not had many refugees arriving in precarious boats here. We’ve only had a couple of such seemingly ungoverned ‘caravellas’ reaching our waters and shores.
The unscrupulous traffickers who get paid thousands by desperate families fleeing ISIS and the equally unscrupulous Assad regime stir their rickety boats to Turkey and some Greek or Italian islands or even Turkey. The desperate people in these boats are genuine refugees. Know that real refugees are adrift usually with their families. As families….They have good reasons for risking their lives in the rough waters of the Mediterranean.The alternative is death or mutilation near or even on the war front.
As a person who had to flee my home at a very young age because of the Turkish strategic geopolitical machinations I agree with Angela Merkel that each country should take a proportion of refugees and also act on a diplomatic level to stop the war. Some of the nicest people I have ever met were from Syria in fact!They are people like you and me. Human and with a developed survival instinct.
Pope Francis visited Greece last week and took a symbolic number of 12 people, the number of Christ’s disciples, in fact! I didn’t think it was too little.Pope Francis has the common touch and the family he is hosting had big smiles on their faces in that Vatican jet!. Queen Rania and Angelina Jolie came on the scene, too. Just the publicity helps, I am sure!
I have helped refugees in the past. It was a family from Iran who HAD to emigrate for political reasons. The wife, a University Professor, had been fired from her job in Iran for speaking against the regime.. I found her a job at my cousin’s lab. A couple of decades have passed. She now has an even better job in a government agency and they are all settled here. They have made my country Cyprus their home,too!.
Greek Easter, MY FAVOURITE FEAST is next Sunday. I hope this war ends soon and the old Syria we knew and loved is reconstructed and the people live in peace and prosperity.
HAPPY GREEK EASTER!
I LEAVE YOU WITH A SORT OF cross road QUOTE:
Another Winston S. Churchill quote“Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.”. … “Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”