Wednesday, July 17, 2013

The Syrian refugee situation reminds some people of the Rwanda tragedy of the 1990s.

Here is a brief article about the human suffering due to the civil war in Syria.

This civil war seems to be between the dictator of Syria (and his army) and an army of "Islamists" who wish to establish a religiously based government.

To me it seems as if this war is being supported by both Russia and the USA, and neither Russia nor the USA is taking in any of the refugees who are being created by this situation.

The article:

http://www.euronews.com/2013/07/16/un-syrian-conflict-is-worst-humanitarian-crisis-in-nearly-20-years-/

Vocabulary to help you read the article:

a tragedy - this is a situation, usually, when an innocent person dies or people die.

a civil war - this is generally a war within one country which is fought by groups with different ideologies (beliefs).  A civil war can also be due to differing ethnic groups within a country. An ethnic group is a group of people who identify themselves differently from other groups based on the language they speak or the type of  family groups they come from, for instance: Serbians are ethnically different from Bosnians.  If a person is from China, her race would be Asian, but her ethnicity would be Chinese. I was born in the USA, as was my father, but I would be considered white and German-American.

a dictator - a leader who does not allow the people of a country to experience freedom.

a crisis - this usually means a very serious if not desperate situation that requires action immediately.

to displace millions - to force millions of people to leave their home country and become refugees in another country.

seeking refuge - seeking safety in a foreign country

fled - perfect tense of 'to flee' ...flee, fled, fled. To flee means to escape.

an outflow - a pouring out of people; a situation in which huge numbers of people leave a country

to escalate - to get worse; escalators are found in many shopping malls and buildings - you can stand on the moving stairs of an escalator and ascend up or descend down

a frightening rate - the rate is increasing so rapidly it is scaring some people at the UN and in various governments.

The Rwandan situation - this was a war between two 'tribes' in Rwanda in the 1990s.  In that situation the world merely ignored the situation until one tribe began to engage in acts of genocide against the other tribe (one tribe tried to kill every member of the other tribe).

About genocide in Rwanda: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/1288230.stm

on their soil - another way of saying 'in their countries'

aggravated - made worse

aggravated by the host summer weather - I think this is a typing mistake and it should be: hot summer weather.

stressing during Ramadan - this is a Muslim holiday in which people are supposed to 'fast' every day (to avoid eating) for 40 days from sunrise to sundown.  The holiday makes the situation more stressful for some people.

the generosity comes at a heavy price - because they are allowing people to come into their countries, they are being forced to spend a lot of money.

urgent - if something is urgent, it should eb taken care of immediately

to alleviate s/t - to make something better; alleviate is often used with the word suffering.  In order to alleviate the suffering of the patient, the doctor gave him some pain medication.

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