Tag Archives: Syria

The recreation of a defensive barricade in Aleppo, Syria erected last year at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin

Berlin Aleppo

I’m a Dublin dog
Barking mad
The sky ripped with Chinese explosion
I’m a cat in Idlib
howling at the bloody moon
crisscrossed by irate fighter
I am a Raqqa rat
Loving it!
Glad we stayed
Unlike Aleppo foxes scuttling away
Some now thinking of return
We hear
But to what?
Fleeing over greedy land, heartless sea, bitter border guard and always the indiscriminate baton
Walking
Walking
Walking
Spittle
Anger
Suspicion
The chorus:
”Fuck off home’
Home
Home?
Angry spitting crowds bearing batons.
Cowering, why why enough enough
Others came with care and clothing
To be fair
And we were suspicious
cos they sought nothing in return.
Suspicious of kindness
But not far the noise, the noise
‘FUCK OFF HOME’ they roared
Home
Home?
‘Where is my home? Do I have a home?’ my friend asked.
Then he went into the trees
Into the silence
Then in the quiet of night
A small window lured him
Into the still grand life of Berlin’s fabled Pergamon
There inside:
Aleppo
Aleppo
Ancient Aleppo
Before the dust
In all its quirky courtyard beauty
Aleppo
before the mosaic of madness
Aleppo
My dusty ruined friend
Aleppo
Here you are now .
Here we are now.
Both you and I together at last
at this forbidden time
This city that knows the destruction of ours.
I lie down and weep.
Amongst our pristine beauty
My roars, my tears, my howls, my art, my city, my country!
Roar as alarms shriek across Berlin city
And here some will say no gratitude
Other will pray for salvation.
Pray for salvation.

Kevin Barrington

Kevin Barrington

Pic: Getty

The Guardian writes:

Rania Mustafa Ali, 20, filmed her journey [in 2016] from the ruins of Kobane in Syria to Austria. She is cheated by smugglers, teargassed and beaten at the Macedonian border. She risks drowning in the Mediterranean, travelling in a boat meant to hold 15 people but stuffed with 52. Her footage shows what many refugees face on their perilous journey to Europe.

Escape From Syria was produced and directed by Anders Hammer

Escape From Syria (The Guardian)

Previously: When People Are No Longer Considered People

Meanwhile At The Greece/FYROM Border

UPDATE:

RTE reports:

The Department of Justice has said a further 440 refugees have been cleared to travel from Greece to Ireland, bringing the total to 900.

The Government pledged to take in a total of 4,000 refugees under the Irish Refugee Protection Programme.

However, just half of that number will have arrived by the end of the year.

Ireland has taken in 1,244 refugees to date from countries such as Syria since the programme was announced in 2015.

There are two separate schemes under which refugees come to Ireland.

Under what is known as the resettlement programme, the Government has committed to taking in 1,040 people from Lebanon.

In total, 785 people have arrived so far and the Government says the remaining 255 will arrive by the end of the year.

440 refugees cleared to travel to Ireland from Greece (RTE)

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This morning.

On Today with Sean O’Rourke.

Fine Gael senator Maura Hopkins (pictured above) was interviewed in light of reports that 80 Syrian refugees will be accommodated in a former hotel in Ballaghaderreen, Co Roscommon.

From the interview:

Maura Hopkins: “I became aware of the plan to open an emergency reception and orientation centre at the Abbeyfield Hotel in Ballaghaderreen yesterday evening and, similar to other Oireachtas representatives within the constituency. I was advised that there will be potentially 80 people from Syria, coming through Greece, having been assessed by Irish Department of Justice officials coming to Ballaghaderreen from mid to late-January.”

“And, obviously, you know, I am concerned that there hasn’t been proper consultation, that there hasn’t been proper engagement within the community in Ballaghaderreen. You would understand that, you know, Ballaghaderreen is a very close-knit community and this is our first level of awareness of this happening and these people are, who have gone through very, very difficult times, are potentially coming to Ballaghaderreen in about 10 to 15 days. So, you know, you can appreciate that, you know, actually this morning alone I’ve got numerous, numerous calls and messages from locals who are concerned that there are not proper plans in place to deal with the imminent arrival of these people. And, I mean, I’m fully supportive of the fact that, and Roscommon is aswell, in terms of playing our part and making sure that, you know, we do our fair share in terms of supporting these refugees who have been through the most awful of circumstances.”

“However, I am very concerned with regard to practical plans..”

Sean O’Rourke: “Well, now, just first of all..”

Hopkins: “And also with regards to capacity of a small, local town…”

Later

Hopkins: “It’s more than just moving into a hotel. You know, it’s very important that there is proper and, you know, adequate engagement and consultation with the local community. As I said there, we’re ver close-knit and already this morning, I’ve had numerous, numerous calls from locals who are very concerned that there is not proper plans in place.”

“I would also mention, during my discussions yesterday evening, with the, that, you know, 80 people potentially will be coming in mid to late January but my understanding is the department have assessed this site – which has 40 bedrooms and 29 incomplete apartments as having capacity to deal with a maximum of 250 people. Now Ballaghaderreen has a population of almost 2,000 so we’re talking about 1 in 8 people so this is a major and significant potential change for our town and I certainly think, as a Ballaghaderreen person and, also, as a representative, that it’s very important that there is proper engagement and consultation and that the practicalities and plans are properly worked out.”

Later

O’Rourke: “I think what people are hearing, from what you’re saying Senator Hopkins is more that isn’t so much an opportunity as a threat to your community. Now is that an unfair way of me to characterise it?”

Hopkins: “I certainly think it is..”

O’Rourke: “So could it be a great opportunity to help in the revival of Ballaghaderreen?”

Hopkins: “Potentially, but we need to ensure we have increased resources in order to meet these demands and in order to ensure that these people are provided with a highly supportive, safe environment that, how’d you say, that has proper resources and has a proper plan and the practicalities are worked out.”

O’Rourke: “Yeah, I just, I know my colleagues this morning were speaking and you were the person that was willing to go on record, I think there were people speaking to councillors. I mean are there concerns, for instance, about terrorism?”

Hopkins: “Not that I’m aware of. I mean the concerns that I received this morning were in relation to the resources.”

O’Rourke: “Ok.”

Hopkins: “And in relation to the capacity of Ballaghaderreen as a town to be able to cope with potentially, you know, a large number, a significant change within the town and ensuring that we have proper resources in place to deal with that.”

Pic: Fine Gael

This afternoon.

A representative of the Syrian Civil Defence (The White Helmets) addresses a UN Security Council Arria-Formula Open Meeting on besieged Aleppo.

He said:

“We are speaking about a siege of 350,000 people, not 10, or 50, or a 100 people. We are talking about 350,000 humans. A huge humanitarian disaster that will shame humanitarian organisations forever.”

Belfast-born Anna Nolan, director of The Syria Campaign, tweetz:

Dark day for international community when Syrian Civil Defence who are picking up the bodies also have to tell UNSC [United Nations Security Council] to do their jobs…

Watch the meeting live here.

Video via Anna Nolan