In the wake of the Arab Spring and emerging terrorist organizations, refugees from war torn countries, namely Syria, have fled their respective homelands in the hopes of a better future in Europe. But as the number of refugees rise, countries across Europe are quickly being overwhelmed by the 11 million Syrians displaced by the country’s bloody civil war.
The vast majority of refugees reside in Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan, with about 4 million scattered across each of the countries. But this is not the end of the trek for some refugees. A large number seek to escape the general vicinity of the violence revolving around Syria. With the quickly expanding Islamic state terrorizing the Middle East, many middle-class Syrians believe Europe could be their only hope for asylum.
Germany is expected to receive upwards of 800,000 refugees this year, but immediately faced a housing shortage as the numbers climbed, forcing the country to enforce border limitations and rethink its approach.
Hungary has faced harsh criticism for blocking refugees from entering the country and the rest of Europe, forcing refugees to either attempt a treacherous sneak across its border or turn back.
The crisis comes at a time when Europe’s sensitivity to immigrants is reaching new heights. Xenophobia, driven by the key term “islamification,” is prominent in these countries where Middle Eastern immigrants most often seek respite. However, studies are continually showing xenophobia to be based on political rhetoric rather than statistics. For example, citizens of European countries, when shown statistics on immigrant population and not shown such statistics, repeatedly say there is in an immigrant problem more when not shown the statistics, according to a study done by the German Marshall Fund. Even so, a large factor that is playing a role in the refugee crisis is this xenophobia.
The refugee crisis is a complex issue, whose variables and factors cannot be summarized in a single article. But one fact that is for certain is that these refugees need someone’s help.
If you wish to donate to help these refugees, go to https://donate.unrefugees.org/.