Syrian refugees should be welcomed

A once beautiful country that flooded with tourists and attracted them to the amazing architecture and sandy beaches is now war-torn and battered. Syria’s devastating condition due to the civil war has left Syrians without basic life necessities like food and electricity.

Imagine being brought into this world just to live a life of struggle? Innocent Syrians are in the midst of a crazed environment and are expected to suffer because of actions they did not commit.

Syrians don’t get to live healthy and sustainable lives, and that is devastating, but equally devastating are attitudes by some who don’t want to help them. It’s refreshing, however, that other countries are stepping up to help these suffering people, and it hits even closer to home because Rutland, Vermont will likely be taking in 100 Syrian refugees.

The plan for Vermont to take in these refugees was announced in April, and by next fall, the refugees could be turning Rutland into more of a melting pot.

Although, this is exciting for the people who can escape their hardships, the issue of taking in Syrian refugees is controversial. Rutland Mayor Christopher Louras has received backlash for allegedly pushing the proposal in secret, though he denies that. And the public seems to be both outraged and accepting.

According to the Vermont Refugee Resettlement Program’s page on Facebook, the issue seems to be split down the middle. Facebook user Sanda Tosto sympathized with the struggles of refugees and related it to her past experiences.

“As a refugee, I know how hard it was not to have simple things like water and food! If you were a child, your childhood was taken away! You saw how much parents risked to feed their kids and to keep them safe! Coming to the United States was one of my biggest blessings! I hope that other refugees are able to come over and build a life with their families!” she wrote.

Facebook user Leigh Smith also supports the plan writing “We must be poised in Vermont to welcome those in crisis — whether domestic or foreign.”

But there are also Facebook pages specifically created to oppose this plan including one named “Opposed to Rutland Refugees.”

User Sharon Rabideau wrote on that site that “The government & politicians seem Hell-bent on destroying the ability of Americans to prosper economically and to live a purposeful life!”

The ignorance of her words is troubling. So Syrians don’t deserve to prosper and live a purposeful life?It’s baffling that people who most likely have a roof over their head, food and water to drink, and clothes on their back are so narrow-minded. If we can make a difference in this world just by lending a helping hand, we’re accomplishing a great deal. What happened to compassion and not alienating people based on how they might differ from us? By taking in these refugees, people will see that we’re making a difference and Castleton University President Dave Wolk was right to lend the support of the university community to welcome them.

Let’s hope bureaucracy and narrow minds won’t prevent their arrival.

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