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Note to World Leaders: This Is How to Welcome refugees


Note to World Leaders: This Is How to Welcome refugees

Antonia Zerbisias

They were hardly the poor, huddled masses Canadians might have expected.

In fact, the 163 privately sponsored Syrian refugees from Lebanon who landed in Toronto late last Thursday looked less bedraggled and besieged than other Canadians do after a long overseas flight.

But then, most Canadians don't travel in government jets, don't get the red carpet treatment, don't bypass line-ups for baggage and border clearance - and don't get greeted by their recently elected Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.


While Canada's welcoming of refugees sets a great example for us to follow, The headline was a bit over the top. There are world leaders far ahead of Trudeau whose countries, notably Austria and Germany as well as many others, have taken on a much heavier burden than Canada and who carry that load out with equal grace.

The expectation that there would be a bedraggled group arriving is based on the lack of knowledge of the situation in Syria. Many of these refugees were well off and lived a reasonably prosperous life, before their roofs were bombed to shreds above their heads. When it came time to flee, they did not dress in their 'grubbies', but wore the best and most practical clothing they had still left. They are usually well educated and will soon be an asset to their new countries.

The simple, but hard decision to leave and embark on this uncertain trail proves a measure of initiative, which will serve them and their new home well. Think about that!


I would reflect on the 10's of thousands that fled the US for Canada during the Vietnam War to avoid the draft. Many were highly educated, were anti-war and believed in Social Justice.

They were to Canada's benefit and a loss to the USA.


I like that wealthy individual who decided to sponsor 50 families.

Turning back the hands of time, 8 years ago millions of U.S. homes went into foreclosure. Little is heard about that anymore. It's highly possible that the banks handed well-over $700 billion used that embarrassment of riches to buy up all those made-vacant properties.

Suppose they were tasked with giving a percentage back OR both paying a financial transaction tax on stock trades AND paying up their overdue, off-shored tax obligations?

The kind of money a number of notorious billionaires take home means there is PLENTY on tap for a worthy cause that might model itself after the altruistic individual mentioned.

It's about friggin time!


If you are interested to learn more of the fugitive crisis, here is a very good report on the trek of these people to Europe, which also gives insights in the caliber of the people, whom our “leaders” are so afraid of:


Many also left during the W. Bush era...


You also got a few more more, albeit not to avoid the draft, but simply because after March 19, 2003 the moral revulsion of living in the USA became too great. That is how my brother and his partner became Canadians. Surely, they weren't the only ones to do it. I was exploring doing the same thing too, but never did the paperwork.


Unfortunately, the uploader (Al Jazeera English) does not allow USAns (US IP addresses) to view the video. It's been this way ever since they started "Al Jazeera America" - a dumbed down, more insular version of Al Jazeera for USAns which USans get redirected to even if they don't want to go there.

I'll have to download and install TOR or other anonimyzer to view the video.


Thanks, Yunzer, I have substituted a different URL


So? why not?