'Stop Having Kids in Syria': Singer's Calls for Contraceptives in Refugee Camps Spark Controversy

Published October 7th, 2020 - 09:09 GMT
'Stop Having Kids in Syria': Singer's Calls for Contraceptives in Refugee Camps Spark Controversy
Rizk's voice represents a lot of memories for Arab millennials as she has sung the openings for most Arab cartoon shows aired on TV since the early 2000s. (Facebook: Racharizkofficial)

A Facebook post, written by the well-known Syrian singer famous for children songs Rasha Rizk, has landed her under fire after she called on humanitarian organizations working in refugee camps, to distribute more contraceptives to the refugee population, saying that "bringing kids to war-torn Syria is a crime."

Translation: "This is a plea to humanitarian organizations; Molham Team, Violate, Basma, Zaitona Organization, and everyone working in this field, please send contraceptive pills now so you don't have to send in other medications to cure distortions and other disorders. Whoever has kids in camps is almost a criminal. Period. Let's start a campaign against pregnancy. Syria isn't a safe space to bring kids into."

Rizk, whose voice represents a lot of memories for Arab millennials; as she has sung the openings for most Arab cartoon shows aired on TV since the early 2000s, had posted on her Facebook account that people should reconsider bringing kids in Syria at this time, as the country still lives through the sorrows of the civil war, that had erupted in 2011; killing and displacing millions of people.

Translation: "Syrian singer Rasha Rizk who sings for children is calling for the sanitization of Syrians. We should only die of hunger but god forbid we have kids. Those who kill us are allowed to have kids but not us. No words describe how ugly and discriminatory her words are. The children singer is now policing Syrian women's wombs." 

Translation: "Is it not enough that we're deprived of almost everything, we should now be deprived of parenthood too? Once you experience that feeling, you'll do everything you can to secure a better future for your kids."

In her post, Paris-based Rizk mentioned three main organizations that are active in refugee camps inside Syria, calling on them to put some effort into raising awareness of the importance of using contraceptives amongst residents, saying that "bringing kids to a refugee camp is a crime."

Following her post, online users had mixed reactions, as many attacked her saying that she "chooses to lecture refugees on what to do with their lives from a privileged position," while others said that her statement "is coming from a good place and speaks out of concern for children."

Translation: "What is discriminatory about this? Should we just use the word to smear anyone we don't agree with? Rasha Rizk is calling on people to not have kids at a time people are having a crazy number of kids in a crazy world. Having kids in refugee camps is a crime against the kids. The children's singer is still their angel."

Translation: "She's only talking about people in refugee camps, and there is such a big difference between having a kid and having 12. How are you going to feed a dozen kids?"

Translation: "Her words might be very harsh but it's definitely realistic. Bringing kids in such hard economic and social reality is only adding more burdens on individuals. Syrians will not agree to not having kids, thanks to the pro-family social heritage, but we can at least make it more planned."

Rizk, a graduate of the Sorbonne, had been amongst the anti-Asad figures in Syria, and had left the country for France in 2011 and has since been very active on social media. In 2017. Rizk was nominated for two Grammys.

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