Interview with a human being from Aleppo

17 Dec

I heard this interview yesterday on The Takeaway and want to share it forward. Human being, rapper, Syrian refugee and current German resident Basel Marshall articulates clearly one of the secondary but still potent reasons why so many have been killed in Aleppo:

As you can see, Paris or Charlie Hebdo or Brussels, things happened [there], and the whole world got crazy about it. I mean why? We’re not humans? It’s only because we’re Syrians it’s OK that we die? But for those people, no, we have to support them and we have to pray for Paris? We do, yeah, I was sad — I was very sad about what happened. But we’re also humans and we also deserve some support.

It makes me feel like the world is looking at us like we’re second quality humans. I have this anger against anyone who could help and didn’t do anything, and it’s against anyone who was part of this. Anyone who accepted this killing. Anyone who gave the green-light to Bashar al-Assad to kill those people.

We’re also human. We also have families. We also have feelings. We also get afraid when our houses get bombed. We also get afraid when we see our neighbors in another city get choked to death by chemical weapons.

With a cease-fire and evacuations currently underway in Aleppo, we can easily fall into a sense of “everything’s fine now” and a deeper indifference about the fragility of the current state of affairs and the recovery (potentially including more injury and death). And while it’s sometimes overwhelming to consider what’s really happening in the world to real human beings, I agree with Marshall: what helps is to do what we can do. Doing nothing, ignoring real pain and suffering, and practicing not seeing people as people is one option. For his thoughts on other options, please listen to his interview.

For more information about what’s happening on the ground in Syria, here’s a link to the White Helmets.

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