Everybody knows children are under constant fire in Syria, even if they do not grasp from whom or why.
Knowing that, and wanting to keep them safe and stop it is all that matters. Many people stay put and almost root into the ground. From a safe distance it must be hard to understand why they keep their children in such danger. Step a little closer and it becomes harder to understand those that leave.
I stepped closer because of another little boy of about the same age, called Aylan…
You may not recognise Aylan alive, he is better known as the little boy who washed up on a Turkish beach facedown in the sand, drowned trying to escape Syria to a world that would never be happy to see him anyway. (and we think the people of the past were barbaric – once upon a time, wars were savage, executions obscene, but left civilian populations mostly untouched, especially the kids. This is, apparently called “progress”).
Aylan’s death was not making sense to me on so many levels, not least *WHAT* kind of parent would take a chance like that with their children’s lives if they had any other alternative?
Which lead me to asking a question I often ask about the choices other people make that I am not comfortable with:
What were their real alternatives?
It soon became obvious that there are no simple answers to that at all. Aylan Kurdi is dead, but Omran could be already, or if not, tonight or tomorrow***. Particularly as hospitals are favourite targets for bombs and napalm, but dead outright in not as bad as being seriously wounded and left to die by inches.
So parents have to make that call, case by case, alone.
So what has that got to do with Ruhama? Their smug, self serving lies are so much trivia…one long nothing…compared to this.
Or they were, until Ruhama CEO Sarah Benson as Chairperson of umbrella org Cap International began to take the onboard junkets to Europe and the Mediterranean too far and collude in the destruction of one possible alternative to Syricide that is available to some.
If you arrive in Lebanon as a Syrian Refugee you are unable to work legally, unlikely to be able to find illegal work (the market is a bit glutted just now), not entitled to any kind of benefits, but you and your children WILL BE ALIVE, and that must count for something.
That doesn’t mean it is over, far from it. In such desperate circumstances little children are often the main or only breadwinner for their families, on farms, building sites, even begging in the markets. The parents hate it far more than anyone else, but there is no other way.
It’s all about staying alive with no reasonable options at all for the foreseeable future.
Understand me, these are not primitive goat herders, far from it (I’d say the average parent from Aleppo City might have to google to be sure of knowing the difference between a goat and a sheep), some of them are Doctors, Accountants, Lawyers – and that is just the mums.Their culture might be different in a few key points, but in the other 95% their lives are…or were, until hell broke loose…uncannily similar to ours.
At this point you may be beginning to realise that, if ever there was a circumstance in which you could, and would sell sex for the sake of your kids it would look a lot like this.
You would also be forgiven for assuming that NGOs in Lebanon, seeing this catastrophy at close range, were up on their feet DEMANDING humane refugee provision immediately, particularly if you remember how many Lebanese once, not so very long ago, fled to safety via Syria with nothing but their cars and a few suitcases for similar reasons.
…or with at least parents who remember what it was like to sit out on the balcony watching the bombardment at night, then get up in the morning to got to their businesses, clean up as best they could and hope they would be in good enough shape to be open for business in an hour or two, you might suppose they would occasionally suggest that it might be nice if people stopped throwing bombs, napalm and chemical weapons at civilians.
But no…the only response CAP International partners KAFA want from the world is to end the demand for sexual services despite the fact that, for many Syrian women the last option they have on getting a reasonable home, and the kids back to school with some semblance of a normal life is selling sex. That’s it, you do it, or the kids go to work on farms and building sites and never have a chance at life at all.
Sarah Benson has actively colluded in this. Providing backup, false information and downright dangerous misinformation strategies
That is to demand whole families be wiped out or crippled as surely as by a bomb…and all for the sake of power, career and expenses paid holidays.
Are you sure you want the government to go on handing money to this woman to do it some more?
What if you, and your life, is the next thing that gets in her way?
***While I was writing this Omran’s brother Ali Daqneesh died of the injuries he sustained in the same bombing 20 August 2016 3pm BST – for whether that was preventable or not follow @liveupdateSyria and SEE the only conditions available for these kids to be treated in from the point of view of a down to eath East End Dad.
I am sure ending demand for the sale of sexual services will sort ALL that out in a jiffy.
I would like Immigration Ireland to send 10 euros to “One Nation” for every day in the past year they have campaigned for cruel and abusive sex work legislation without bothering to mention Syria at all. That should make quite a nice sum of money.
I forgot to get to the point, in her capacity as CEO of Umbrella Group CAP International, Ruhama CEO was instrumental in turning this:
IS HEZBOLLAH INVOLVED IN THE BIGGEST PROSTITUTION NETWORK EVER EXPOSED IN LEBANON? (Jerusalem Post April 6 2016)
Dozens of Syrians forced into sexual slavery in derelict Lebanese house (The Guardian April 30 2016)
Standard self serving abolitionist bull crap, wrapped around and obscuring a real and more important social issue, until you home in on the big word “Hezbollah”. The overall implication through these and many other articles that followed is that the women in question gave *details* of a joint Syrian Government/Hezbollah trafficking ring. Not so bad in the Jerusalem post…nobody in the Levant pays any attention to a word said in the Jerusalem Post.- few ever look at it.
Sensationalised to the hilt, and exploited to agenda in the Guardian and other Western media outlets is a very different matter.
In an obscure foreign language (I forget if it was French or Arabic) report the Lebanese Lawyer employed by CAPIntl Beirut affiliate stated that the 8 women involved could not stay and give evidence as they “had to return to Syria” (as one does from time to time when one is an internally displaced refugee from a carpet bombed civil war zone, a savage dictator, and marauding gangs of a variety of certifiable Islamic extremists who would regard holding hands with a member of the opposite sex as a serious zina offence). I am trying to locate that report. But it seems I probably do not have to.
A fall guy has been chosen, he is out on bail, and the first hearing is set for 7 July 2017.
If the prosecution states that women who laid evidence against him cannot be located to give evidence you will know for sure that they are unlikely to be alive, and just as unlikely to have died quickly or cleanly.
Hezbollah and the Syrian State are not very good sports about people who do not totally submit to them, let alone people who lay evidence against them liable to bring them into disrepute with their diminishing support base at home and in the Global arena.
I am not suggesting Ruhama CEO Sarah Benson was fully aware of any of this, I have never seen reason to suppose she is fully aware of much outside of herself, her needs, and her demands, but if you don’t know what you are doing, why interfere at all?
You might get another human being, of equal value to yourself, killed. Think on it, ideally beforehand, not with hindsight.
…and if you really, REALLY cannot live another day without killing off a few Syrian refugees, you don’t need all that pseudo Victorian melodrama…