Month: October 2015

New York City Supporting Doctors and Nurses in Syria

Assad, Russia, Iran war on doctors and target hospitals

Supporters demand an end to the bombing of hospitals in Syria at a die-in to defend Syrian health professionals hosted by Physicians for Human Rights and the Syrian American Medical Society in New York City 29 Oct 2015.

** Solidarity for the medical staffs who lost their lives trying to save lives.
** To honor the heroic efforts and to mourn the loss of our Syrian colleagues.
** We stand to insist international community to recognize targeted attacks on health care professionals as a despicable crime.

Syrian doctors, nurses, medic were killed by assad regime

Syrian president Bashar al-Assad bomb hospitals

syrian doctors were arrested, tortured, murdered by assad regime

syrians doctors are targeted by Syrian government assad regime

assad regime bombed hospitals, doctors

Assad regime murdered syrian health care professionals doctors, nurses, medic

Syrian doctors were bombed by assad regime

assad killed doctors, bomb hospitals

Assad war on doctors

Syrian government target hospitals, school, markets, kill doctors, nurses

Syrian doctors were killed by assad regime

Assad regime targeted health care professionals in syria

Syria Assad regime target hospitals, doctors, ambulances, medics

#paramedic #defenddoctors #nurses #doctors #syriandoctors #healthcare #medicine #WithSyria #SaveSyria #medic #DoctorsWithoutBorders #diein #NYC #UN70 #AssadCrimes #PutinCrimes #barrelbomb #Putinatwar #AssadWarCrimes #Health #hospitals #ambulances #Syrian #NewYork #

Advertisements

Assad Warplanes Targeted a School Full of Children

Nothing Assad won’t do! Assad’s warplanes targeted a school full of children in Deir al-Asafeer. Deir al Asafir Rif Dimashq Syria Oct28

#AssadCrimes #PutinCrimes #RussiaAirStrikes #RussiaAggression #Putinatwar #AssadWarCrimes #SyrianRefugees #Refugees #MirgrantCrisis #RefugeesCrisis

Refugee crisis: In Serbia, every shoe has a story

By Masuma Ahuja, CNN
Fri October 23, 2015

Footwear -- or lack thereof -- tells the refugee story in Berkasovo, Serbia, on Tuesday, October 20.

Footwear — or lack thereof — tells the refugee story in Berkasovo, Serbia, on Tuesday, October 20.

New York (CNN)About 10,000 refugees are in Serbia, according to recent reports. They face harsh conditions — freezing temperatures and a shortage of aid and shelter.

Marko Risovic, a photographer from the capital of Belgrade, has been at the border between Croatia and Serbia to capture a piece of the long journey that thousands of migrants from the war-torn Middle East are making.

“This kind of story is very hard to show. It’s a very big story,” Risovic said. The “simple details,” he said, ” can tell you a lot about the condition, the emotional message.”

The details he focused his lens on were the shoes — sneakers, trash bags, improvised footwear — that refugees wore.

151020122746-08-img-6316-exlarge-169

“All the shoes have a different story,” Risovic said, “Shoes were torn apart by long walking or by the circumstances or conditions at the border crossing.”

Taking photos of shoes allowed Risovic to tell the stories of migrants while overcoming communication barriers and hesitations of his subjects.

151022121653-img-5878-exlarge-169

“It’s hard to communicate with many of them because they speak Arabic,” Risovic said, “Some of them are afraid of showing their faces and being photographed.”

But no one had anything against him taking photographs of their muddy and worn shoes.

151022122807-img-6009-exlarge-169

October 20, 2015. Long lines have formed on Croatia’s border with Serbia. Photo by Marko Risovic for CNN.

151022122912-img-6062-exlarge-169

Follow CNN on Instagram to see the full series of Risovic’s photos.

How you can help in the migrant crisis:
Catholic Relief Services
Concern Worldwide
International Federation of the Red Cross Europe
International Medical Corps
International Rescue Committee
Medical Teams International (MTI)
Mercy Corps
Migrant Offshore Aid Station
Samaritan’s Purse

Why Syrians are fleeing to Europe


15 Syrian refugees, including 18 months old baby, rescued by Turkish fishermen in the Aegean Files. Published on Oct 23, 2015

Why are so many more refugees undertaking the long journey to Europe? UNHCR’s Melissa Fleming explains

1. The war in Syria shows no signs of ending. People continue to flee, and refugees in neighbouring countries are now losing hope that they can return

Inside Syria, the situation has continued to worsen, with fighting intensifying in all regions and the economy and services in a state of general collapse. This is driving yet more people to leave, but is also having a profound impact on those who have already escaped to neighbouring countries.

When people flee from war, they usually do so hoping to return soon. So they move nearby, perhaps to family or friends in a nearby town, or just across the border, where they can keep an eye on their homes and livelihoods. But after more than five years of conflict, many Syrians have now abandoned that hope. Their homes have been devastated, their families torn apart, and there is little prospect for peace. With nothing left, and their places of exile under increasing strain, hundreds of thousands of people are now ready to travel much further to find the security they so desperately need.

2. Living as a refugee in neighbouring countries is untenable for many refugees, who are not permitted to work and are sliding deeper into poverty

For millions of Syrians, their first place of safety was a neighbouring country – like Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey, Egypt and Iraq. But few refugees can continue to pay rents at all, even on tiny and crowded rooms. Many refugees face eviction from their places of shelter.

In most countries, refugees are not allowed to enter the labour market formally and face sanctions if caught. In Jordan, for example, they risk being returned to the camps; in Lebanon, they are forced to sign a pledge not to work if they wish to renew their residency status.

Without income, people are forced, first, to spend their savings, and then to take on debt. Even worse options may then lie in store. After years of gruelling costs, many are simply no longer able to pay for rent, food or basic items.

3. There is not enough international aid to help refugees in the region

Normally, refugees might turn to aid agencies like UNHCR, which are running many programmes to help them survive. But the scale of the problem is so large, and it has been going on for so long, that donors are struggling to find the money to pay for these schemes. When the numbers of Syrian refugees arriving in Europe surged last month, UNHCR began to receive new donor pledges to increase aid in neighbouring countries. Even so, this year’s international appeal for Syrian refugees is just over half funded. Recently, World Food Programme vouchers were cut for thousands of refugees, forcing many into “negative coping strategies”, including begging and child labour.

In Jordan, many refugees have also lost free access to healthcare. Almost 60% of adults with chronic conditions are now forced to survive without medicine – up from 23% in 2014. Refugees in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Egypt say cuts like these are the last straw, leaving them little choice but to leave.

4. Children are going too long without an education

Syrians prize education highly. But in Jordan, Egypt, Lebanon and Turkey there are simply not enough opportunities for Syrian children to be educated. In Jordan, 90,000 Syrian children are going without a formal education, and 20% of refugee children have abandoned school in order to work. Many girls are losing out after being forced into early marriage, another survival mechanism. Even in Lebanon, where education is free for Syrian children, transportation costs are prohibitive and many have to miss classes in order to support their families; 200,000 will be out of school this year, and young people looking for a university education have almost no options at all. If they are to get the skills to live a productive life, to go back home and rebuild after the war, parents of Syria’s refugee children arriving in Europe say education is crucial.

5. Countries in the region hosting four million refugees, without commensurate international support, have imposed new restrictions

Neighbouring countries have not been compensated for welcoming huge refugee populations, which has put an enormous strain on their infrastructures. In tiny Lebanon, host to well over one million Syrian refugees, the government has resorted to imposing new regulations making it harder for Syrian refugees to gain asylum. Most people fleeing Syria can only enter Lebanon if they show border guards an air or ferry ticket to Turkey. Refugees already in Lebanon must pay the equivalent of £130 per year to stay, as well as pledging not to work. In Jordan, the government requires all Syrians living outside of camps to get new identity documents to access services, but their cost (£27) is simply too high for many to afford.

6. The portrayal of a welcoming Europe on television and social media

Syrians inside and outside the country avidly follow the news. News stories of difficult journeys across the Mediterranean and through the Balkans end in Austria and Germany with scenes of refugees greeted with applause, flowers and teddy bears. For Syrians, the idea that they could seek asylum in a country offering the combination of safety, work prospects and education was worth the steep smugglers’ fees and the danger of getting there. Many also fear the gates will close soon and the only time to travel is now.

So what is the solution? Obviously, all countries with influence must step up efforts to end to the Syrian war. But until there is peace, the countries hosting four million refugees must receive the infrastructure and development support they need while fully funding UNHCR and partner organisations to provide for the basic needs for refugees. We continue to advocate for employment schemes to allow refugees to earn and contribute to local labour markets.

At the same time, refugees must be offered more legal avenues to reach safety in the world’s richer countries through increased resettlement quotas, more flexible family reunification schemes and humanitarian and student visas. Syrian refugees would certainly then think twice before leaving their region and risking their lives on a journey to Europe.

For more information:
http://data.unhcr.org/syrianrefugees/regional.php

LGBTI Refugees Who Are Fleeing Syria for the U.S.


welcometoamerican21
Salem, left, and Moustafa are headed to the U.S.

Written by Kevin Ozebek
Sept. 29, 2015

After Jaafar Moustafa and Hasan Salem were outed in Syria, they had to flee for their lives. Now they’re finding refuge in the U.S.

ISTANBUL: Jaafar Moustafa and Hasan Salem are counting down the days until they can board a plane in Istanbul, each with a one-way ticket to Oakland, California, and escape from the trauma and tragedy of their native Syria.

Moustafa, 26, and Salem, 30, are part of a very select group. They are among the 18,336 Syrian refugees whom the United Nations has recommended for resettlement in America since the Syrian civil war began in 2011. Compared to the more than four million people who have escaped Syria, that number seems tiny—and it is. But most of the refugees the U.S. will try to take in for resettlement have extremely dire medical needs or can never return home because they will almost certainty face political, religious or social persecution.

For Moustafa and Salem, returning to Syria would be suicide. The two friends left the port city of Latakia, Syria on May 10, 2014. It’s a date they will never forget. The city they ran from remains under the grip of Syrian President Bashar Assad, whose war with an array of rebel groups has killed over 200,000 Syrians and displaced millions more. But neither Assad’s brutality nor the fear of their hometown one day falling under the control ISIS are why these men abruptly fled their home. Both Moustafa and Salem are gay, and they left Latakia because they were outed.

“We could never be out of the closet in Syria,” said Moustafa. “You can’t tell people that you’re gay and live a normal life.”

After relatives found emails between the two about a LGBTI conference in neighboring Turkey, staying in Syria was no longer possible. Moustafa was afraid his uncle would kill him, and Salem feared his own father would murder him. So the two packed what they could and flew to Istanbul together, joining the more than 1.5 million Syrians who have sought refuge in neighboring Turkey.

Moustafa and Salem were lucky—in Istanbul a UN caseworker deemed them highly vulnerable refugees. Because they are at such high risk of becoming victims of a hate crime, they fall into the category of refugees most in danger and best suited for resettlement. When refugees like Salem and Moustafa face having their fundamental human rights violated, resettlement becomes the most appropriate solution, according to UN regulations.

Salem and Moustafa’s caseworker determined that America would be the safest place for them. When they left Syria, they had no connection to California. To this day, they have no clue why the UN recommended they be resettled in the U.S. and not somewhere in Europe, though family ties and language skills are factors when finding refugees a new home. While Moustafa and Salem have no relatives in America, they both speak some English. Their basic English skills could now be why their potentially lethal “outing,” has become a blessing in disguise.

“I feel very lucky, of course,” said Salem. In California, “society will accept me.”

But while these two no longer have to live in fear of their families brutally attacking them, they are leaving the only home they’ve ever known for a new life in a foreign country.

Peter Vogelaar, head of Affiliated Services at the International Catholic Migration Committee, says refugees like Salem and Moustafa who ICMC helps resettle in America are told, “streets aren’t paved with gold. There are a lot of challenges. Making ends meet is going to be very hard to do.”

Once the UN recommends a refugee in Turkey to be resettled in the U.S., non-profits like ICMC in Istanbul are summoned to provide the asylum seeker everything from a thorough medical exam to a translator for an in-depth interview with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The DHS agents are tasked with ensuring the refugee poses no security risk to the U.S. Salem and Moustafa also had to respond to a series of questions designed to confirm they truly would face death at the hands of their relatives if they were to return to Latakia.

When Moustafa and Salem land in California next month, U.S.-based non-profits will help them find work and classes to improve their English. Before they land jobs they’ll be eligible for U.S. federal assistance, like food stamps, but won’t be given a stipend to get started—as refugees are in Europe. The responsibility will ultimately be on them to make their resettlement successful.

Of the 18,336 refugees the UN recommends the U.S. adopt, only about 1,500 of them have already completed the lengthy resettlement process and moved to America. It’s not clear how many of them are LGBTI. “In some countries of asylum, gender identity may make refugees particularly vulnerable and in others it may not,” said Ariane Rummery, a spokeswoman with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.

With White House pledging to take in at least 10,000 Syrians this upcoming fiscal year, Moustafa and Salem are part of a pioneering group of refugees. They say they are up to the challenge of adapting to a new country—a prospect that seems significantly less scary after surviving wartime Syria.

The two will arrive in their new country emotionally scarred from experiencing Syria’s civil war. Since their hometown remains under Assad’s control, Latakians were not pounded daily with barrel bombs from the Syrian Air Force. But even so, Moustafa says life in Latakia is, “still miserable.” If you dare to publicly speak out against the relentless regime, “they arrest you immediately,” he says. And the crackling of gunfire they frequently heard reminded them the front was not so far away.

“War, blood, I saw many things,” said Salem.

While Salem hopes to continue his career as a computer technician, Moustafa intends to seek a position in social work once in Oakland. He wants to be an LGBTI activist and help other gay refugees. And above all else, they want the freedom to be “out” in the open.

“It’s a liberal country and you can follow your dreams,” said Moustafa. His American Dream is to fall in love and eventually marry. It is a dream that could never turn into reality in Syria.

“I want to live a normal life. I want to feel safe. I want basic things that everybody should have.”

Article from: http://time.com/4048421/meet-the-lgbti-refugees-who-are-fleeing-syria-for-the-u-s/

Safe Passage for Syrian Refugees

Safe Passage: An Open Letter to U.S. President Barack Obama & Congressional Leaders
October 01, 2015

life_jacket_final_1_0

The lifejacket pictured here belonged to one of more than 16,000 people rescued on the Mediterranean Sea by Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) teams since May. This lifejacket, and the person who wore it, are symbols not only of a chaotic and dangerous world, but also of the failure of United Nations member states to meet their obligations to care for, extend safe passage to, and consider the asylum claims of those who fear for their safety from violence and oppression.

People don’t abandon their homes because they want to, and they know the risks they will face on their journeys. It is out of desperation that they flee war and torture, misery, poverty, and persecution. While delivering emergency medical care across a wide range of countries and continents, Doctors Without Borders sees firsthand the horrific conditions and suffering that drive people to risk their lives for the chance of a better and safer future. In northern Jordan, for example, which only a lucky few of the Syrians wounded daily in besieged areas in and around Damascus (and elsewhere) can reach to access medical care; in northern Afghanistan, where hundreds of people injured in current fighting are pouring into our trauma center in Kunduz; in the Domeez refugee camp in northern Iraq, where food vouchers were recently cut by two-thirds; and in Kenya, where Somali refugees face the threat of violence and forcible return.

We have also established projects providing health care to refugees in several European Union countries, and we have been running search and rescue operations in the Mediterranean. Our staff therefore has a unique perspective of what happens—physically, psychologically, morally—to people in need when safer countries slam their doors shut, while public policy and debate focus on economic fears, deterrence, and dehumanizing discourse about “the other.”

This crisis has rightly shocked the world. But the harrowing scenes we have all seen are not confined to Europe and the Middle East. More than 60 million people have been uprooted by conflict and chaos around the world today. From stateless Rohingyas fleeing persecution in Myanmar and adrift on the Andaman Sea, to families driven from their homes by wars in South Sudan and Central African Republic, to people escaping violence and extortion in Central America—we are witnessing a global crisis that is fundamentally challenging the willingness of the international community to uphold its moral responsibilities to other human beings.

The United States has a proud tradition of welcoming refugees, and it has apportioned billions of dollars in aid and assistance to lands around the world affected by armed conflicts. But the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Antonio Guterres, has urged the US and other attendees of the UN General Assembly in New York to do more, to play a greater, more active, and more compassionate role in the ongoing refugee and migrant crises in Europe, Africa, Asia, and North and Central America. What better backdrop than the world’s largest gathering of international leaders for the United States to once more offer additional humanitarian support for people struggling to find safety, increase the number of asylum claims it approves (including for civilians wounded or tortured in conflict), and further ease cumbersome refugee application processes so the most vulnerable can easily apply?

President Obama: You took steps in this direction when you addressed the UN General Assembly this past Monday. But announcing an intent to accept a certain number of refugees falls far short of truly addressing the suffering faced by millions fleeing violence and oppression.

More than simply living up to obligations as a signatory to the 1967 protocol on refugees—and its own proud history of providing shelter to millions of foreign-born men, women, and children—the United States should take additional actions to ensure hope, dignity, and humanitarian assistance for those uprooted by war and strife. A courageous, committed United States can once again rise to the occasion by making its voice heard, showing resolve, and joining the European states that have opened their borders to large numbers of people in need of refuge.

By taking action and showing solidarity, the United States can reaffirm its commitment to refugees the world over and can set an example to other governments that have been unable to come to terms with the challenge at hand. This could be a step towards dismantling recently erected barriers to safe passage, which only drive those forced from their homes to take ever more dangerous routes in search of sanctuary.

The United States should encourage UN member states to ensure that lifesaving and basic needs are met and that humanitarian appeals are fully funded, reversing the shortfalls and cutbacks that have sadly become the norm in humanitarian crises. Beyond this week’s meeting in New York, we hope America’s political leaders will commit themselves to once again placing the country at the heart of efforts to find solutions to this global crisis, as it was when past generations of immigrants and refugees found shelter and opportunity in this land. The United States can make an essential difference by ensuring safe passage for people driven from their homes and by working to make the need for their harrowing journeys obsolete.

Doctors Without Borders has also encouraged European leaders to do more, and we readily admit that we do not have all the answers. But we see the medical and psychological consequences of the current situation, and we must bear witness to the tragic human impact of a global system that shuts out people seeking to escape violence, poverty, and misery—people who, like many Americans, past, present, and future, seek only a safe place for themselves and their families.
—Jason Cone, Executive Director, MSF-USA

Article from: http://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/article/safe-passage-open-letter-us-president-barack-obama-congressional-leaders?utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter&utm_campaign=social

Syria Refugees Crisis – Help is Coming

Published on Sep 10, 2015

A short film by director Mat Whitecross, in support of Save The Children’s Refugee Crisis Appeal
http://helpiscoming.org
Download the single: http://po.st/9GDAYa
Pre-order the vinyl: http://www.vfeditions.com/product/vie…

Text GIVE to 61144 to donate £5 (UK only)*
For international donations, go to http://www.helpiscoming.org

Interview footage
Director/Filmed by: Simon Rawles
Producers: Mustafa Khalili, Richard Sprenger, Angela Robson
Assistant producers: Karl Schembri

*For full terms and conditions visit the website http://www.savethechildren.org.uk/t-a…