Last night I was one step away from a cool glass of Pinot when I stopped and made myself a herbal tea instead. It was the right thing to do. Sky news had just reported that the bodies of two Kurdish brothers had washed up on a beach in Turkey. Their parents were fleeing the brutal war in Syria. The two children along with their Mother had just become victims of it.
Galip Kurdi was five years old, his little brother Aylan three. They were on an overcrowded dinghy which left the holiday resort of Bodrum Turkey headed for the Greek island of Kos. Despite the calm waters it capsized. All 17 refugees were flung into the sea. 13 of them have died.
The boys’ Dad, Abdullah was the only member of the family to make it back to shore.
Another dinghy in the flotilla, which was carrying a further 16 refugees, also capsized.
The Turkish authorities have reported that eight people drowned and another four are still missing. Only four managed to survive.
This morning most of our daily newspapers have front paged this tragic story. Their reports are more detailed and informative than mine.
However, we live in the age of the refugee, a generation of exile. Our newspapers have failed to bring us it’s reality, what being a refugee actually means. On a human level. The suffering. The lost people of a soulless world.
Heartbreaking photographs of the dead brothers have now emerged. They are below. Should we have published them? I don’t know, most of the newspapers chose not to because the pictures are truly distressing.
Tragedy begins where there is misunderstanding. Our silence and lack of assistance for these people is not understood by many. I think it was Joseph Stalin who said that the death of one is tragic. The death of millions is a statistic.
Is that how history will record these tragic events? Statistics?
I’d like to say that I genuinely care about these poor abandoned people. These terrified refugees. I genuinely want to see them find peace. Someday. Somewhere. I want them to find their joy. Once more.
Rest in Peace Galup Kurdi. Refugee.
Rest in Peace Aylan Kurdi. Refugee.