I imagine your Facebook timeline was filled yesterday with the images of the three-year-old Syrian boy found drowned on a beach in Turkey. The pictures quickly went viral and, for a brief moment, the world turned its attentions to the atrocities going on in Syria.
Now the father, Abdullah Kurdi, has spoken about how the situation came to be and the heartbreak that followed. Sky News with more:
He said he was forced to take control of the boat after the captain panicked and jumped into the sea in high waves.
“We went into the sea for four minutes and the captain saw that the waves were so high and as he tried to steer the boat we were hit immediately,” he said.
“He panicked and dived into the sea and fled.
“I took over and started steering, but the waves were so high that the boat flipped immediately.
“I took my wife and my kids in my arms and I realised they were all dead.”
He added: “My kids were the most beautiful children in the world. Wonderful. They woke me up every morning to play with them and now, they are all gone.
“Now all I want is to lie in a grave next to my wife and children.”
Kurdi’s family were amongst the 13 who died during the treacherous boat crossing.
It turns out Kurdi had actually attempted to gain a sponsor in Canada that would allow them to apply for refugee status. His sister had emigrated 20 years earlier but her attempts to facilitate her brother’s arrival had proven unsuccessful.
Whatever your views on immigration I think it’s fair to say there has to be a way to avoid situations like this. There is no easy fix, we’re not eternal optimists over this side, but surely policy makers need to examine why it is that folks like the Kurdi family have to resort to such measures to escape the atrocities in their homelands.
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