Pluma Migrant Writers Guild. "Write to be heard."

Syrian Refugees

UNHR Refugee Camp in Wadi Feynan, Jordan

UNHR Refugee Camp in Wadi Feynan, Jordan

Have you seen the tents of Syrian refugees?

Have you seen the grubby ground,

Rubbish all around, where they’re expected

To live?

Having been ejected from their own nation?

Do you know about the places where I have been?

Have you seen the real news?

Been to Jordan, in Wadi Finan?

In Lebanon,

Which can’t even look after its own?

There you’ll see tents.

There you’ll see what it’s like to be a refugee.

Where the only ones that care are the UN.

And they just give you a white tent,

With their big logo.

And expect you to have hope

Through the cold winter,

Whilst a world away the rich people say to themselves

We are compassionate

For accepting migrants

Migrants who can pay for flights, the train

And turn up with a sense of entitlement

That they’ll get welfare or a job.

Have you seen the refugee camp off Route Nahr Ibrahim Halat?

North of Beirut,

A pitiful set of hovels

From which children emerge each day to

Beg, hussle, waste their childhoods

Trying to extract something

From the hateful local Lebanese

So they dont go hungry,

In case their parents

Fail that day in their efforts to support them?

What about the clutch of tents in Dana Nature Reserve, Jordan?

Next to the dry riverbed on the dusty, bumpy way

To the fabled Wadi Feynan Ecolodge –

Popular with the rich European

Socially conscious

Environmentally conscious


How many of them do you think have been driven past

But didn’t stop

On their way to a quiet night under the stars

Feeling good about themselves for having found


A remote place of peace

With Bedouins?

To boast about to their unadventurous friends in their comfortable apartments back home?

How many do you think stopped by the UNHCR tents,

Asked names,

Asked origins

Offered theirs?

Offered their homes, an air ticket out of hell?

I’ll wager you haven’t seen these camps.

I’ll wager none of those tourists stopped.

Just like I didn’t. Not afraid. Also not interested.

I hope those camps don’t exist anymore.

I’m convinced though,

If they’re gone,

That it’s not because

Germany sent teams to Beirut and Wadi Feynan to rescue them

Like it should have –

Instead of enthusiastically taking a flood of comparatively rich, well educated migrants who would disdain these camps. Who represent a Syrian brain drain.

And then telling the world how open and kind they are for accepting them.


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This entry was posted on September 10, 2015 by in Commentary, Literature, Migration, Travel and tagged .

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