Syria’s Migrant Problem

In 2011, the Arab Spring saw protest movements rising throughout the Near East in which citizens aimed to reshape their governments and end corruption, modernizing their societies and adapting to globalization. These movements had mixed results; Tunisia, for example, made a successful transition to a democratic government. The citizens of some other countries, like Syria, are facing violent consequences provoked by defiant protest. After condemnation by the Syrian government of the protests, rebel forces have taken a stand against what they see as their oppressors. The conflict has raged on for six years, resulting in hundreds of thousands of deaths within the country. Millions of people have fled Syria or are internally displaced, creating the largest issue in the world today: the refugee crisis.

Conflicts create many problems for the countries involved and their neighbors. The mass movement of people who feel unsafe or are forced to move to foreign countries is a primary concern in times of war, and nowhere is this more evident than in the Syrian conflict. In the past 25 years, no conflict worldwide has displaced more people than the one in Syria. At the moment, there is no end in sight: all sides are unwilling to back down after repeatedly failed ceasefire attempts and the issue has become an international one, as world powers like Russia and the United States have allied themselves with opposing sides. This tension creates a violent situation with no simple solution.

Today, Syria is not the only source country for refugees. Other countries in the Middle East and less developed countries around the world view Europe as a destination for safer living. The massive influx of refugees in Europe has prompted backlash and concerns of terrorism being spread under the veil of harmless refugees. This is the prevailing view of European nationalist groups who adopt a xenophobic attitude towards mostly harmless foreigners that want to work and live safely.

Germany, a powerful and economically prosperous member of the European Union, is a major destination country for those seeking asylum. The nation is generally open and modernized with a respectable standard of living that is attractive to displaced refugees who have faced severe hardships in their home countries. Such a large number of people suddenly entering a country does create some problems: the migrant crime rate, for example, rose more than 50% in 2016. There have been several terrorist attacks in the country recently, killing and wounding dozens. The fact that some of the attackers were refugees from Middle Eastern countries only benefits the position of conservative Europeans who are against letting in so many refugees.

The violent conflict at home has threatened the lives of many Syrians and forced them to seek comfortable living elsewhere in the world. The violent conflict at home has displaced millions of people internally and moved even more people to foreign areas, particularly Europe, where they face discrimination and hostility from locals. As harsh as it is, this treatment is better than the constant violence and warfare that is endured in major Syrian cities as the government and various rebel groups battle for control of the country. Unfortunately, there is no clear end in sight, and Syrian citizens are forced to cope with the severe hardships brought on by this conflict.

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