Monday, 7 September 2015

The true story of Aylan Kurdi

Blogs have been posting what they say is the true story of Aylan Kurdi, the Syrian boy drowned in the Mediterranean, from a boatful of people who had concluded the risks of an unsafe boat on the water were less than staying where they were on land.

I won’t humour them by repeating the garbage blogs. They are entitled to their own opinions; they are not entitled to their own facts.

The ultimate injustice one can commit to Aylan Kurdi and his family is to omit the parts of his story which explain why he ended up dead on the beach, ]or to make up stories of your own]. The details matter, so please read and share:
1) Abdullah Kurdi, the father, was detained for 5 months in Air Force Intelligence in Damascus. While in detention, he was tortured and his teeth were pulled out. He had to sell his shop in Damascus in order to bribe the officers to let him out. This cost him 5,000,000 Syrian Liras (around $25,000)
2) After he bribed his way out of jail, Abdullah fled to Aleppo with his wife and sons, Alyan and Ghalib. The situation in Aleppo became dangerous due to the constant aerial bombardment, so he fled again to Kobani, his hometown.
3) When ISIS attacked Kobani last year, the family could no longer live in their hometown, so they fled to Turkey. Once in Turkey, the Turkish government did not provide them with assistance, so they paid almost $6,000 to secure 4 spots on a rubber dingy to the Greek island of Kos.
4) While on the boat, rough waters caused the boat to flip. The lifejackets they were given were fake. His sons and wife all drowned in front of his eyes, in his arms.
5) Kurdi had applied in June for refuge to Canada,
sponsored by Abdullah’s Canadian-resident sister Tima, but was rejected. After Aylan's photo became a media story, he was reportedly offered citizenship to Canada. But he doesn't want to go to Canada or Europe anymore. He says he will go bury his family in Kobani and stay there to fight against ISIS, because everything has been taken away from him and he has "nothing to live for."
So if the world wants to no more Aylans on the beach, someone needs to do some combination of the following based on above:
    (1) stop torture and arbitrary detention by the Assad regime, 
    [(1a) stop Iran & Russia arming the Assad regime,]

    (2) stop the regime's aerial bombardment,
    (3) stop ISIS,
    (4) make travelling to Europe safe,
    (5) … accept more refugees.

Oh, and those other blogs arguing that other Middle Eastern nations and the Gulf States should accept refugees from the civil war?

They do.

Lebanon has 1.3 million Syrians. Jordan, Egypt & Iraq have 800,000 between them. And Syrians fleeing to the Gulf States are not defined as refugees by UNHCR. But there are quite a lot. Around 500,000 at last count

Got that?

Maybe you could tell those bloggers with their heads up their arse.

UPDATE: Why do refugees travel by boat to Europe, instead of plane?

[Hat tips Fabia Claridge-Chang, Thomas Lumley & Graeme Edgeler]


  1. The fact remains it is not in our self interest to import Islamic ghettos. We have no moral duty to Syrians whatsoever.

    1. The fact remains neither you nor I have the moral right to exclude wronged and peaceful people. And neither do you have any right to a nom-de-plume you haven't earned.

    2. The currency in Syria is the Syrian Pound, there is no such thing as the Syrian Lira. This story is made up

    3. The Turkish government said they had been in Turkey for 3 years. You story is crap.

  2. I had heard the family in question had enjoyed refuge in Turkey for years before leaving for Germany. Dad was upset because there were no handouts or instant employment waiting for him when he got there and he wanted some dental work done. Why didn't the asylum seekers stop when they got to Greece, which as far as I know doesn't overly persecute its citizens? This mass exodus represents economic migration as many of them are coming from countries that are already (relatively) safe havens. I agree with others who have suggested taking asylum seekers from ethnic groups with a history of assimilating easily, finding employment and not engaging in crime. I would welcome any number of the persecuted Yazidis into NZ.

  3. Also, the sum total of Syrian asylum seekers accepted into wealthy neighbours Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait (as well as Russia and Japan) is a big fat zero.

  4. There is now more debate about this man and his motives. I guess that if you don't like the facts presented he has others.



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