16 September 2015

The Arab States and the Refugees

While the European Union and its member states totter under an overwhelming influx of refugees from Syria and other collapsing countries in the Middle East, the vastly wealthy Arab nations of Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States are sitting back and watching as Europe takes the toll.

In a December 2014 report from Amnesty International, various facts and figures are set out to show that what is happening with respect to (mainly) Syrian refugees is thoroughly unbalanced internationally, and notably within the Arab world itself. 95% of the (then) 3.8 million refugees fleeing Syria are located in five countries (although since then many have crossed the Mediterranean or gone to Greece from Turkey). With the exception of Turkey, those five countries are among the poorest in the region: Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.

.... The report ends on a depressing note: the six Arab Gulf countries (Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, the UAE, Kuwait and Bahrain) have offered zero -- repeat: zero -- places for desperate refugees.

Put another way, six countries that speak the same language (admittedly with strong regional variations); that belong to the same ethnic group; that share the same religion and much of the same culture; that are among the wealthiest countries in the world -- not just in the Arab world -- have no room at all for their fellow Arabs. [Gatestone Institute] Read more