The Gulf Between Those Who Help and Those Who Don’t.


In London yesterday, tens of thousands of people marched towards the prime ministerial residence in Downing Street, calling for the UK government to do more to help with the current migrant crisis.

Europe is struggling to cope with an enormous influx of people, mostly from Syria, who are fleeing violence and poverty in their own countries. The real shame is that none of the six Gulf Cooperation Council states – Saudi Arabia, Oman, United Arab Emirates, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar has taken any refugees. That’s right, none!

Some counties offer temporary work visas for migrant workers but that’s not the same thing. Where will the migrant workers building Qatar’s World Cup stadia go when they’re no longer needed and their work permits expire?

The Syrian father of 3-year-old Aylan Kurdi, whose image of him drowned on a Turkish beach last week, helped inspire a wave of global sympathy for refugees making perilous voyages to Europe, blamed Arab countries for failing to take in more Syrians. “I want Arab governments – not European countries – to see (what happened to) my children, and because of them to help people,” Abdullah Kurdi said last week as he crossed the border back to Syria to bury tiny Aylan, his 5-year-old brother and their mother after they drowned in the Mediterranean.

None of those six rich Arab countries has signed the UN convention on refugees which has governed international law since the end of World War Two. A policy reversal is unlikely as long as these countries are not signatories.

These countries do have the resources to help. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Bahrain have a combined GDP of about $2 trillion a year, and their combined population is under 55 million people, almost ten million fewer than Great Britain alone.

Why is no one marching to demand that Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, U.A.E., Qatar and Bahrain do more or even do SOMETHING?

Craic on!

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