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#CombattheSilenceJH: Student to help Syrian Refugees by creating a public mural

(Jackson, Wyo.) - Jackson Hole Middle School 7th grader Madeline Webb wants to spread awareness about the plight of the millions of Syrian Refugees. To help spread awareness, Webb plans to develop a draft of a beautiful and meaningful mural on the topic in hopes of recreating it in full color for the public to see. Learn more in her essay below. Learn about the local students who #CombattheSilenceJH here. *Resolving the Syrian Refugee Plight with Humanity* *by Madeline Webb* I am a human. I have to ability to speak, to move, to eat, to drink, and much more. I wake up every morning in my beautiful bedroom with purple painted walls, glass sculptures, handmade paintings, and fresh folded clothes. I am not afraid to go out in public, to be around other people, to make friends, to pick fights. My life is not restricted because I am human. At least that is what I used to think the reason was. They are human. They have the ability to speak, move, eat, drink, and much more. But they can’t. They wake up in rafts in the middle of the ocean, on deserted beaches, curbsides, caves, the rocky dirt of open fields, upon piles of rubbish and in blankets made out of their folded clothes. They have to be afraid to go out in public, they can not be around many other people, they have to be afraid to make friends, terrified to pick fights. Their life is restricted because they are human, too. While I argue with my brother about what to have for dinner, they haven’t had any in weeks. The privileges and fortunes of people like me are unfathomable to everyone but ourselves. Millions and millions of Syrian Refugees are struggling to keep their lives every day because of an ongoing war in their homes. The Syrian Refugees are a monumental problem in the world today, and we can combat the silence by willingly welcoming innocent people into our countries with the help of screening systems. Syrian Refugees are a significant problem because millions of innocent Syrians are being forced to leave their homes, pack up and run for their lives to some far away country, and when they get there, they are most likely given no help. According to authors Elizabeth Ferris and Kemal Kirişci, “At that time [November 2015], there were around two million refugees in Jordan, Lebanon, and Turkey. Today, this figure has climbed to more than 4 million and the estimates of the number of internally displaced persons have increased from around 4.2 million to 7.6 million” (Ferris, Kirişci 1). There was a point where outside countries only had to take in about two million people all together. With the number of people who need to leave growing, more are forced to stay in their country. More and more innocent people are being pushed out of their country, and along with that, more and more countries are closing their doors. The people who can find no place to go have no choice but to stay. There are most definitely places for these refugees to go, but the people in the outside countries are too busy worrying about only themselves and their lives. According to Don Kusler, “The current refugee crisis is the biggest since World War II, with Syrians now making up the world’s largest refugee population” (Kusler PRO). The war that has pushed millions upon millions of Syrians out of their homes, continues to do just that. With their countries in the conditions that they are in, there is no suitable place for people to stay there. Burning buildings, mass shooting, explosions, and home invasions make life for Syrians practically impossible. With all the people who need to get out of there, only half can, end even those people are being shut down and locked out. According to Don Kusler, “Thirty-one U.S. governors are refusing to let Syrian refugees settle in their states” (Kusler PRO). Not just the U.S. is refusing to let Syrian Refugees into their states, but other countries are doing the exact same thing. They may think that they are protecting their countries by keeping out people they know nothing about, but what are they giving up in order to do that. I choose to believe that it is their humanity. Turning your on your own kind and saying no to people who have never done anything to us nor shown any sign of doing anything bad to us. What do they do? They say no without putting in a second thought. Millions of Syrian Refugees are being forced out of their homes and into places where they are not wanted or welcomed, and this is a serious issue because the other countries in the world refuse to do anything despite this. Majid is just one Syrian refugee who thought he actually had a chance at having a normal life again. He was sent to Manchester, a city in England, with the the promise that he could live there. Once he arrived at the Home Office, he handed them his document. He then realized it was hopeless. No one spoke his language and they didn’t even try to understand his broken english. He knew they could have done something for him, he just wonders why they didn’t. They shut their doors on him, and he, like the millions of other Syrian Refugees with no hope of being able to settle anywhere, was not given even a second thought. Syrian Refugees are a significant problem that is caused by an ongoing war that is very severe in their country that they have no other way to escape from than fleeing. According to reporter Paul Salopek, “Now, papers or no papers, your life as a refugee genuinely starts: on foot, in the attitude of powerlessness” (Salopek 3). No matter how important you are, no matter if you have the papers to legally enter another country, as a refugee, you have nothing. When you are forced out of your country, everything that you ever were is left behind. The main issue here is that the Syrian Refugees can’t do anything to help the fact that they are powerless. This then causes millions and millions of confused, powerless, and seemingly hopeless people left for the rest of the world to find something to do with. Countries that refuse to help these people are just fuelling the problem by making even more refugees have absolutely nowhere to go. According to an article published on CNN, “A variety of military powers are engaged against ISIS -- the United States, France, Russia, the United Kingdom -- along with several Arab nations and the Kurds, who are fighting them in northern Iraq and Syria” (CNN 1). This war involving many countries from around the world is the source of this tremendous issue. It is not just the war that is driving all these people out of their country, but also how the rest of the world is playing a part in the war. It seems that they are too busy fighting where the country is seemingly more severe, and pay no attention to the real issue right now: finding and getting essential resources to the millions affected by the war. The Syrian Refugees being forced out of their countries and into the outside world is an enormous issue caused by an ongoing war. Omar knows better than anyone the deadly war zone his home has become. He recalls there being light, happiness, and it once feeling like paradise. But everything was changed when the war broke out. He remembers how he would walk down the street and hear gunshots, and he remembers how this was normal and no surprise at all. He was arrested, beaten, and imprisoned, and when his nephew was shot and killed right in front of him, there was no doubt in his mind that it was time for him to leave. Although he never thought twice about fleeing, he realized how hard it is to leave behind everything you have ever known. Syrian Refugees are a significant problem that results in there being millions and millions of scared people with no food, no water, and no place in this world to go. According to Don Kusler, “Eleven million Syrians have fled their homes since civil war broke out in 2011. More than 250,000 people have died in that war” (Kusler PRO). Eleven million people who did not want to join the almost 300,000 dead people who stayed had absolutely no choice but to flee for their lives. Once they can finally escape their dangerous homes, they find that they are wanted nowhere. It seems that there is nearly nowhere in the world that is willing to help them. Almost every country is already too worried about protecting itself against the bad to instead worry about helping and giving to the people who are scared of the exact same things as them. As you can probably imagine, with no place to go, there is no food to be offered, no water, no shelter, no medical care, no nothing. These innocent people can do nothing about it, and the rest of the world just sits and watches more and more people suffer each day. The refugees however, who do have somewhere to go, also have limited resources. The document below shows that although countries are willing to give money, it is not enough. The population of refugees has skyrocketed and the amount of people in camps has not shown great signs of improvement. As easily seen in this document, significant changes need to be made if this problem has any hope of being solved. With what is currently driving millions of Syrians out of their countries in addition to the rest of the world not doing enough, the world’s largest population of helpless refugees continues to grow. With a place to live, food to eat, and a healthy family, Nassan feels like the happiest man on Earth. He just traveled the thousands of miles from Syria to the UK, where he is temporarily placed until he is recognized and accepted by asylum. That is, until one day he and his family receive a letter rejecting their asylum claim. With no interview, court appearance, or any type of communication from the Home Office. Nassan and his family are left with nothing. He is in the same situation million upon millions of Syrian face everyday. Unless that is enough for Nassan and his family, they are completely alone. If you have been paying any attention to what I have been saying, you should be absolutely outraged at the fact that so little is being done about the Syrian Refugees, being the tremendous problem that it is. Some people choose to believe that this problem can not be solved but they are unbelievably wrong. According to Merrill Matthews, “Obama’s claim that all the refugees will be screened extremely carefully.” (Matthews 10). Many people believe that this would solve the problem by allowing thousands and thousands of people into each country around the world while also keeping those countries safe from harm. Other people choose to point out the fact that Obama is not in charge anymore. If our leader is not on board with the solution then who is going to make it happen? The people. The people from around the world who feel that this issue is worth coming together as united nations and fix this problem. According to FBI Director James Comey, “To reach President Obama’s goal in bringing in at least 10,000 additional Syrian refugees to the U.S. this year the Obama administration has opened up a new resettlement center and has shortened the processing time from around 18-24 months down to just three months” (Comey 1). Not only will people be able to come into the country , but they will be able to easily do so. The US is beginning to show signs of compassion towards these innocent people, and our only hope is that the rest of the world will start to do the same. According to reporter Rachel Stoltzfoos, “The Obama administration plans to accept an extra 45,000 refugees in the next two years, including a minimum of 10,000 Syrian refugees by September, 2016, which will increase the annual total to at least 200,000 refugees” (Stoltzfoos 1). These are not just numbers on a paper. These are actually really people with very real issues. To some people, these numbers will mean plummeting the United States into even more debt, but others recognize the chance to restore their humanity and give to something bigger than themselves. Countries around the world are doing exactly the opposite of what they should be doing; they are turning against people who are more akin to them than they think. We are all scared of the same thing, but the difference is, we have room, we have, space, and we have things to offer them. We can protect ourselves without sacrificing our humanity. As it is very clear to see, the only way we can solve this enormous issue in our world today is to not just to find a controlled and safe way to get these Syrian Refugees to somewhere safe, but to do it as united people of the world. We must do this together as people with one common motive: to restore humanity. (CNN 2). Now I know that after reading this, you will just forget about it and move on to the next thing. I know that because I do it too. But I want, with all my heart, for this time to be different. I want you to take what you have learned, I want you to take with you my passion, and tell anyone who will listen that you do care. Even if you aren’t helping the Syrian Refugees directly, you are making a huge difference. You will inspire people, you will spark the passion and care in them. You don’t have to fly to Syria with a first aid kit and some blankets to make a change. You can donate to a charity, and even if you can’t, your care and hope for them is all they really want. One charity that is doing amazing things for the less fortunate Syrians is Save the Children. This organization has helped more than 3.8 million people with temporarily nowhere to go, and 1.6 million actually inside and around Syria. So even if you can’t directly help someone, support someone who can, like this charity. I wondered what I could do to help this issue. I can’t go to Syria. I don’t have any say in what is going on. So what can I do? I am going to create a draft of a beautiful and meaningful mural that, with your help, I will be able to recreate in full color and glory, and put it up in a public place for all to see. The mural will inspire people to donate to the cause of helping the Syrian Refugees, and maybe even do something themselves. Your job is to do exactly what I said. To at least care, spread awareness and bring out the care and passion in other people. All I really want is to just know that people care because that alone is enough to start a revolution. *Works Cited* Fantz, Ashley, and Ben Brumfield. "More than Half the Nation's Governors Say Syrian Refugees Not Welcome." www.cnn.com. Cable News Network, 19 Nov. 2016. Web. 20 May 2016. < http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/16/world/paris-attacks-syrian-refugees-backlash/index.html >. Ferris, Elizabeth, and Kemal Kirisci. "Brookings Research." www.brookings.edu. Brookings Institution, Sept. 2015. Web. 20 May 2016. < http://www.brookings.edu/research/papers/2015/09/syrian-refugee-international-challenges-ferris-kirisci >. Matthews, Merrill. "Should U.S. Governors Be Able to Block Syrian Refugees?" www.newsela.com. Tribune News Service, 18 Dec. 2015. Web. 20 May 2016. . Salopek, Paul. "Fleeing Terror, Finding Refuge." http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/. National Geographic Society, Jan. 2016. Web. 20 May 2016. < http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/03/syrian-refugees/salopek-text>. *Feature Photo: Alexandra Hubbs. Pitchengine Communities* #buckrail #news #combatthesilencejh