Channel 4 News reports: Abdullah Kurdi, the father of the drowned Syrian boy whose body was photographed on a Turkish beach, will deliver Channel 4’s Alternative Christmas message.
The heartbreaking images, which will be shown as part of the broadcast, shocked the world and came to symbolise the horror of the refugee crisis.
They prompted European leaders to do more to tackle the stark reality of the desperate situation facing many refugees. Abdullah lost his wife Rehanna and two sons: Alan, 3 and Galeb, 5, as they attempted to flee the war ravaging their Syrian homeland.
Over 4 million people have fled the country since the start of the civil war. More than 250,000 have been killed. This year alone 500,000 Syrian refugees attempted to reach Europe and North America.
In the Alternative Christmas Message, which will be broadcast on Christmas Day at 3.35pm on Channel 4, Kurdi calls for empathy and understanding for those caught up in the current refugee crisis:
My message is I’d like the whole world to open its doors to Syrians. If a person shuts a door in someone’s face, this is very difficult. When a door is opened they no longer feel humiliated.
Kurdi appeals as a parent, speaking of the desperation of the Syrian people:
At this time of year I would like to ask you all to think about the pain of fathers, mothers and children who are seeking peace and security.
We ask just for a little bit of sympathy from you.
Kurdi’s powerful words are interspersed with footage of the refugee crisis and the dangerous Mediterranean crossings from Libya to Italy and from Turkey to Greece. [Continue reading…]