The world is in the middle of the worst global refugee crisis since World War II, and it's only getting worse by the year. Last week, Germany made a landmark decison to repeal the Dublin Protocol, the 2003 policy adopted by several European countries that requires asylum seekers to register their cases in the first country they land.
Becauase of geography, this essentially means every Syrian refugee arriving to Europe via land or sea ends up either off the coast of Italy, the islands of Lampedusa and Malta, or, most frequently, in Greece.
Germany's removal of the protocol means more refugees can end up in places with economies that can actually handle the weight. But in the Middle East, the news opened up social media to another question — what about those oil-rich Gulf countries?
During five years of bloody conflict in Syria, some 4 million refugees have flooded out of the country. A December estimate by Amnesty International said 95 percent of this number are concentrated in just four countries — Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.
Meanwhile, the six Gulf countries — Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain — have received exactly... zero.
This week, Twitter finally took notice. On Sunday, the hashtag استضافة_لاجئي_سوريا_واجب_خليجي (#Hosting_syrian_refugees_is_a_Gulf_duty) was trending in the Gulf. Have a look at some of the tweets below.
عذراً أيها السوريون الكرام فليس لنا إلا ثلاث .. الصمت نهاراً ،والدعاء ليلًا، والشعور بالخزي ليلاً ونهاراً ! #استضافة_لاجئي_سوريا_واجب_خليجي— واحد من الناس ! (@KeNt_977) August 28, 2015
Translation: Sorry dear Syrian , we can only help you by keeping silent during the day ,praying at night and being shamed day and night.
Translation: The Gulf paid billions in reparations for Shiites in 2006 and built many hospitals in northern Lebanon. Now its your duty to host the Syrians.
الشعب السوري مكلوم … بين براميل الأسد وتوابيت البحر لو سمحت دول الخليج لهم بالدخول … ستتكفل فيهم الشعوب #استضافة_لاجئي_سوريا_واجب_خليجي— أ. صلاح المهيني (@salah_almeheney) August 28, 2015
Translation: Syrian citizens are suffering; they're hit by Assad's barrel bombs and buried in sea coffins. Why don’t Gulf countries host them?!!
Translation: Oh Lord, How painful to see our brothers dying along European coasts and even more painful is our incapability to help them.” But not all users were welcoming.
ما اتخيل جارنا الجديد سوري وداعشي وكل يوم الصبح يشوفني عند باب البناية يقولي كيفك يا كافرة #استضافة_لاجئي_سوريا_واجب_خليجي— محبة الحَسُّوني (@Mahabba_) August 30, 2015
Translation: I can’t imagine having a new Syrian Da’eshi neighbor every morning will say to me: 'How are you infidel?'
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