The Washington Post reports: Somewhere between Turkey and Greece, the boat carrying Abdullah Kurdi and his family was filling with water. They wore life vests, and Kurdi was holding his wife’s hands, he later recalled. His children, 3-year-old Aylan and 5-year-old Galip, were seated nearby.
As the small boat began to sink, passengers panicked.
“My children slipped from my hands,” Abdullah told Turkey’s Dogan News Agency on Thursday. “We tried to hold on to the boat, but it deflated rapidly. Everyone was screaming. I could not hear the voices of my children and my wife.”
Abdullah swam to a beach on the Turkish coast, following the lights on the shore, he said. “I looked for my wife and children on the beach but couldn’t find them.”
By now, the world knows that his two sons and wife drowned, along with nine other migrants. A photograph of Aylan’s tiny body washed up on a beach has gone viral, shocking the world and starkly illustrating the plight of those caught in the conflicts raging in Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan and Africa. These concurrent crises have produced the largest displacement of people since World War II. [Continue reading…]
The New York Times reports: While the photograph of a 3-year-old Syrian boy’s body quickly focused the world’s attention on the migrant crisis in the Middle East and Africa, it has taken on a particular resonance in Canada with the discovery that the boy’s family had been unable to obtain immigration visas.
The death of the boy, Aylan Kurdi, who drowned with his brother and mother off the coast of Turkey, has also become an emotional issue in the Canadian election.
Even before the plight of the Kurdi family flashed across social media, opposition politicians, along with advocacy and religious groups, had strongly criticized the refugee policies of Prime Minister Stephen J. Harper’s Conservative government.
In January, the government promised that it would accept 10,000 refugees from Syria over three years. But over the next several months, immigration officials and Chris Alexander, the citizenship and immigration minister, repeatedly declined to disclose how [many] people had been admitted. [Continue reading…]