- Posted September 4, 2013 by
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Are chemical weapons a ‘red line’?
Not Gased to Death But Exploited to Death
In disbelief, I am driving my car home at 6:30 pm when I come across a pale Syrian refugee boy standing on a chair with a knife in hand painfully and slowly cutting the skin off the head of a sheep at a local butcher’s shop in Lebanon. No gloves, insects, a nauseating smell all around, the image of a child exploited to death, robbed of his childhood, his rights, his future, and my only thought is- thank God the child was not gased to death. Although I covered his precious face to protect his privacy now and later, I can tell you Omar is proud, meticulous, and grateful to be helping his mum to feed his siblings, particularly given the father is dead, and the boy has no idea when/if the family will ever go back home.
It is estimated over a million Syrian refugees are currently in Lebanon. A significant number, including Omar and his family, are not registered with UNHCR. This is a call for the international community at large to help us to support these refugees, particularly on a local level. Not Gased to Death nor Exploited to Death, not is Syria, not in any neighboring country, especially not Lebanon. This refugee crisis needs to be factored into any short term or long term strategic plan to save the region from further mayhem.