Thursday, November 19, 2015

Syrian Refugees Are In The News

There are seven or eight things that I could jump on regarding "Syrian Refugees," the new big thing.  But I don't feel like it.

One thing worth mentioning, though, is that I happen to actually have a Syrian refugee friend.  We were condo neighbors for a couple of years until I moved a few months ago.  We're still in touch.  I suppose he's not like these unfortunates that we see in the boats, with the crying, and the drowning, and the being chased across fields by Serbian police dogs.  He can afford to wait out the refugee process living in a nice rented condo in Bangkok.  He's a swell guy, about my age, the patriarch of a small group that includes a couple of nephews and their families.  They are the nicest people that you'd ever want to meet.

My friend has had VISAs to America in the past, for business and travel purposes.  He still has friends in America, regular Joes that he's worked with or done business with over the years.  His home in Syria is an unattractive combination of rubble and flames for a couple of miles in every direction, punctuated by the odd explosion.  When you see the video from Syria, do you ever consider what a horror it must be to try to get food and water for your family?  Those people need a break.  He's applying for the refugee VISA at the American Embassy here in Bangkok, and my fingers are crossed for him.  With half of our elected officials in a desperate rush to give ISIS everything that they want, the odds seem to favor my friend getting shafted. ISIS hopes to make it as hard as possible for Syrians so that a) they can't leave in the first place; and b) they get treated as badly as possible wherever they land if they leave.

Man, I wish him luck, I hope he makes it.  He and his relatives would be a fine addition to the American mosaic.  Syrians are very good people, by the way.  Educated, cosmopolitan and friendly.  Our ignorant politicians should take a minute and try to meet and greet some Syrians before they make with the screaming paranoia.  Reality doesn't go away simply because you chose to ignore it.

No comments: