Damascus has been continuous occupied for over five thousand years. The lands around Syria have supported innumerable civilizations throughout the millenia. After the collapse of the Ottoman Empire Greater Syria was mandated under French control and at the end of World War II France granted the ancient lands freedom. Most of its following history has been dominated by the ruling Assad family, however during the Arab Spring of 2011 huge crowds gathered in every major Syrian cities to protest the draconian rule of President Bashar al-Assad. Having witnessed the fall of Iraq’s Saddam, the Alawite clan leader decided to respond to the masses’ request for more freedom with violence and the crackdown soon evolved into a vicious civil war shattering national unity.
Bombardments, air strikes, assassinations, massacres, poison gas attacks, extremists, hardliners, starvation, murder, and despair have forced millions of Syrians to flee their native land for refuge in neighboring countries ill-equipped to provide comfort for the desperate refugees.
Left with few options these forlorn Syrians have fled their homeland in droves.
By air, by land, and by sea.
This week the shores of Greece harvested a tide of dead refugees.
One was a baby. He was three years old and his name was Aylan Kurdi, whose Kurdish family was fleeing the depredations of a brutal kaleidoscope of horror.
Left with nowhere else to go this boy found his place in the world on a beach.
This tragedy and the other tragedies of the world has to stop.
Silence is not an option.
War is not the answer.
Smiles shall be he reward as those shining from Aylan Al-Kurdi and his older brother, Ghalib.