The following post was written by my friend Sara Catherine about her opinions on a talk given at our school regarding the refugee crisis:

Hi! My name is Sara Catherine Cook and I have had the pleasure of researching and learning about the refugee crisis for my Latin IV class, as we are currently making a short film about how it relates to the Aeneid. I just want to talk about some of the things that have really stuck with me about this whole situation.

One of the things about this whole crisis that really sunk in is how barren some of these camps in Greece are. Zoë in her presentation at my school mentioned that many of the refugees have to steal materials, and not out of malicious intent, but becuase there are not enough resources for them to even live in decent conditions. They do not flee their country because they want to, but out of necessity and when they reach a safer area, they are still deprived of some simple things that they really need.

The second thing that has really stuck with me since hearing multiple presentations on the topic is the amount of danger people put themselves in making this journey to Greece or Italy. When traveling to Greece, the chances of a refugee dying or missing is about one in four hundred, which shows that it is incredibly dangerous to even cross into Greece, but what is even more shocking is that the chance of a refugee dying or missing when going to Italy is one in fourty one. We all sit here complaining about our day to day lives, when these regular people are putting their lives in an incredible amount of danger just to protect themselves and their families.

Another thing that I have thought about repeatedly recently is the amount of violence in Aleppo, as told by Zabia, a women who has recently come to the U.S. from her home there. She told us about many dangerous things that happened to her, a completely normal woman trying to take care of her family. She mentioned that there was a bomb that landed in her home, and that every single day she was unsure if her daughters’ school would be bombed. It seems crazy to me to have to worry about the safety of your children’s lives when they go to school everyday, but this was the reality for Zabia when she lived in Aleppo just a few months ago. She also mentioned that when traveling she had to hold her daughters underneath the seat when gunfire was heard. Again it seems crazy and so foreign to me to imagine having to duck from gunfire while traveling with children and other civilians.

The last thing I want to mention is the thing that I have thought of almost daily since we had the opportunity to speak with these incredible people. My teacher, Mr. Crowe, asked Ali, Zabia’s brother, how often he thought of home or his friends and family from home. He told us that he only knew where about thirty percent of his friends or family are, and that seventy percent of these important people in his life have either died or their location and whether they are alive or dead is unknown to him. When he told our small class this, my jaw almost hit the floor because it is so shocking to me to think of losing that many important people in one’s life in more or less a year. These people have lost their home, many of their possessions, and more than half of the people they care about.

These few things have stuck with me and probably will for the rest of my life and I hope they stick with each person reading this because no one deserves for this to happen to them. I do not know how to fix this problem, but there are simple things we can all do, and one of them I think Zoë is doing a great job of right now. To end this I just want to urge each person to share this with those around them and make an effort to donate some of their time or money to helping these people because when you think of it, we are all the same in more ways than you think.


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