By Alexia Rowley, 20th December 2016

So This is Christmas

What Have We Done?

What Have We Done?

“So this is Christmas, and what have you done?” Good question John Lennon, what have we done? The world is suffering and Christmas is fast approaching. Whilst I shop for gifts or worry about the numbers around the table on Christmas day; the families of Aleppo question whether they will leave alive; displaced and trapped Syrian orphans face horrors we only glimpse on TV. Injured Syrians lay dying without any healthcare because even the hospitals have been bombed. How stark a contrast can we get?

In a week where the UK government are contemplating their impotency to do anything about this crisis. The new American administration appoints Rex Tillerson, the president and chief executive of ExxonMobil and friend of Russia, as the next Secretary of State.

How can it be when millions are suffering and dying the rest of the world can only watch? And a super power seemingly coming onside? How can a ‘civilised’ world let this happen.

Everything has a consequence, and never is this more apparent. 5 years ago the UK chose not to intervene in Syria, thinking that the war would quickly resolve itself; and tired from the recent conflicts in which the UK did intervene, against the will of many.

This isn’t a critique on the Government or offering a solution. It is merely a sad reality that we are now left without a say or a chance to help the situation or the people.

There have been some wonderful articles about how we, global citizens, can help. However that doesn’t end that such injustices even happen.

Not only are the people within Aleppo and Syria suffering but those who did manage to flee are also facing persecution and injustice. The UNHCR have calculated that there are 4.8 million Syrian refugees, with the number of displaced people within Syria predicted to be 8.7 million. According to World Vision just 10% of those refugees have sought asylum in Europe, yet this crisis and need has been answered with the rise in fascist parties across the continent.

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How lucky we are, just by virtue of the country we live in, that we can worry about Christmas and other luxuries, getting the right gift for our loved one, and having enough food for one day. How sad it is that the value placed on human life can be so little.

It begs the question, does that value change based on the religion or geography, of the life in question? I go into this Christmas period with a heavy heart and a true sadness for those in Syria and across the world facing such hardship.

(Note from The Editor: Thank you so much to Alexia from Roots&Wings Parenting for opening up about such a tough subject. At this time of year it really is so easy to forget how lucky we are. Take a little time this year to support in any way you can. Visit Unicef to donate and help raise money to help with winter supply kits. www.unicef.org.uk/donate/syria)

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