I’ve been conflicted over how to write this post for a few weeks now. To me, and those around me we have a life full of opportunity and freedom. We should be thankful every day for the simple things that we just see as normal; things like free education, the NHS, the right to vote. The latter is a big one for me, I really struggle to comprehend why people do not vote. It’s a privilege that so many people in this world never get to have. If you keep up with my blogs, you’ll know my last couple have been about Sudan. This post is a conclusion to ‘For Sudan’, but crucially it’s not just Sudan that I want to draw attention to. The media is a selective snippet of what they want us to see. And when our eyes are drawn to a conflict on the news, it’s temporary, even when this conflict is continuous. So many people on my timeline were posting about Sudan, and do post every time something happens that draws social media and general media attention. But then very quickly, people forget, or just continue their own lives. I understand this, a lot of the time it is very hard to associate with the tragedies and violations that occur around the world, it almost feels alien. For me personally, I feel a lot of guilt for not being able to do anything about it, but that’s one of the main reasons why I wanted to have this blog. The media leaves a lot out, and we don’t always pay enough attention.
So for all the countries we seem to have abandoned, all I can do for the time being is to draw attention to what is going unnoticed and unpunished.
If you read my blog posts on Sudan you’ll know of the violence that occurred, why and how. Since my last post, the internet went back up, but the violence and protests have not stopped. 37 people were killed during the intercommunal clashes in Port Sudan in the last week alone. For now, the US stance appears to be that they encourage regional and international support to Sudan but they will be waiting to see the commitment of the transitional government to democratic reforms before they remove Sudan from its terror list.
For Yemen… in March the United Nations published how 10 million Yemenis are ‘one step away from famine’. Yemen is currently in its fifth year of conflict between pro-Government forces and Houthi rebels. Some twenty million Yemenis are food insecure. That is 70% of the population. The hunger is threatening a whole generation. Multiple charities are trying to support Yemen, but worldwide support is crucial.
For Syria… 2015 saw the start of the European migrant crisis from Syria. But just because we do not hear as much in the media about the crisis today does not mean it is anywhere close to stability. In 2018, according to the United Nations (UN), at least 6.1 million had had to flee their homes inside Syria, whilst 5.6 million had to flee abroad. Syria is still unstable, their leader Bashar al-Asaad is still in power.
American troops are still in Afghanistan today.
For The Democratic Republic of Congo, Zimbabwe, Iraq…
There are countless countries I could talk about, many that would cause controversy. I have my own opinions on the never-ending tensions between Palestine and Israel. I have been debating whether to resume writing posts about this conflict, but it’s something I need to approach rather sensitively. (Feel free to ask me if you want to know more Palestine and Israel, the way Israel came to be back in 1947, etc., and I will be able to provide you with a neutral overview which may be easier to understand than articles, as it covers about 70 years of history.)
Today, the world is looking at the burning Amazon. These fires are deliberate, created for farming cattle. This happens every year, but they have increased by 84% since last year. Whilst trying to understand the world’s continuing conflicts and being conflicted with what I can do to help, this is a global crisis that we can all aid. We all have a responsibility to make these small changes :
- Stop eating beef completely, and if possible attempt a more plant-based lifestyle
- Reduce your oil consumption (try to walk, or bike more, or use public transport)
- Reduce your paper and wood consumption (write notes on your phone etc.)
- If you want to donate, donate to frontline Amazon groups such as the leonardodicapriofdn.
- Influence and educate your family and friends with these small steps
There are countless other steps that we can take to ensure we are being more environmentally conscious and friendly. Things like not using plastic straws, not using makeup wipes (and if you do, there are now biodegradable alternatives – I have used Nivea and Simple biodegradable makeup wipes and they both work just as well), not leaving lights on or the tap running when you clean your teeth. These are such easy steps we can take. For the United States, as you consider who your candidate will be in the upcoming caucus and primaries, consider a candidate who is willing to take action to aid our global climate crisis.
To conclude, remember how fortunate you are, and never take it for granted. If I had written about every country we seemed to have abandoned I would probably be posting an article as long as my dissertation will be. Remember how selective the media is, and do not become someone who simply posts when conflict happens and quickly forgets. Whilst there is little we can do for these countries besides spread awareness, the global climate crisis is something we can all work on and all have a responsibility to improve.