Have you heard? They’re sending people
to Mars. It seems to me…
Crazy? Mars is hostile to life.
You can’t even breathe the
air! How will they survive?

Well, we’ll make them a refuge,
of course. It’s only
Right. We value their lives
– The forefront of humanity –
We must make sure they thrive.

We shall cast over them an Iron Dome,
pull fresh air from the ether,
make the rocks weep out its water,
grow food – it will be just like Home.

On their perilous journey we will strive
to keep them safe
watch them from afar
with 24-hour care
all they need to be is – brave.

All of that we can do?
Yes, if mankind has a mind to.

The night air is peaceful, and sweet.]

Say, did you also hear
There’s another place where
it’s hostile to breathe? The air
burns you inside, sears
you to stillness.

Do you think if me and you,
and us – we – were to say, hey, 
we want to go and stay
with them, in that place that’s hostile too…
Do you think they
will build a refuge over us all,
and we all get to
breathe easy?

After all, if their Refuge moves there
then… witness!
They wouldn’t have to be

– Kuala Lumpur, for Syria [Khan Sheikhoun chemical gas release]. 

Khan Sheikhoun. 

2017. At no time in the history of mankind, has war and unrest displaced as many people from their homes, turning ordinary citizens into destitute refugees. Today, almost 1 in 100 people are displaced persons.

Across the Middle East and Africa, one of the defining phenomena of the century begin to unfold. And when Syria folded in civil war, the escalation reached watershed proportions.

An entire nation – formerly prosperous and educated – reduced to beggars.

No continent is spared – whether as origin, transit, or asylum destination in this crisis.

Or as the profiteers.

Nations quarrel over mercy. Yet others quietly act their conscience. And some others stride over the region playing chess over the bones and flesh of those who cannot leave. Cannot sleep.

Cannot breathe.

How travellers (and residents) can help in the refugee crisis

Perhaps most people in this famously travelling age, travel out of desperation, not choice. 

But the discretionary traveller can also opt for a different kind of sustainable travel

For those who are not travelling, you can help people who are helping refugees. 

Find out more at the linked sites:

The UN Refugee Agency

Carefugees Malaysia

poetry "Gas Masks for Khan Sheikhoun | how travellers can help in the greatest refugee crisis of humanity | Teja on the Horizon

For more inspiration read: Travel for a cause: Volunteering with refugees in Calais, France

6 Responses

  1. Kristina says:

    This was such a beautiful and important post. Thank you for bringing light to the refugee crisis, especially in the travel blogger sphere. We may feel we can’t do much, but there are little things we can do.

    • Teja says:

      Absolutely. A lot of the time we think because we can’t make a change all by ourselves, then it’s not worth doing. But something well thought out and sincere, consistent, is always worth doing even if it’s very small.

  2. neha says:

    Your writeup moves something within. All that comes to mind is the lines from Robert Frost poem “nature doesn’t love a wall”… You are doing some good work out there

    • Teja says:

      Thank you. I think the bloggers the the stories I linked to were pretty awesome to have thought of it, done it, and then wrote about it. We many not all be able to do much, but a little bit every so often – consistently over time – is far from nothing. Every finance savings person will tell you so, and it’s no different for investing in human compassion.

  3. Lydia Smith says:

    Wow. You really did good. Dedicating a whole post for volunteering enlightenment. Thumbs up. Many people are non humans. For whatever sake would one want to see a fellow being in distress. It’s so unfair.

  4. Sandy N Vyjay says:

    It is really sad that we Man is not able to treasure and preserve this beautiful world that he inherited. It is imperative for every person to try and do their mite to ensure that the earth is not violated. Loved your lovely verses, very moving indeed.

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