Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Friday, November 24th, 2017

Empty Nest Syndrome

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Empty Nest Syndrome

The war and militancy created large-scale challenges for human societies. A large number of people from war-torn countries such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, etc. took refuge to other countries, mainly Europe to breathe a sigh of relief.
The escalated militancy in Asian countries forced people to find a safe shelter. Scores of families flocked to Europe not only to survive war but also hunger. They risked their lives with the hope of getting rid of the ongoing crisis.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) around 65.6 million people have been displaced worldwide. Among these, 22.5 million are refugees. Nearly half of the refugees worldwide are from three countries – Syria, Afghanistan and South Sudan. Among these three countries, Syrian refugees constitute the largest number i.e. 5.5 million.
Amid the fighting and mass movement of population for protection of their lives, most of the Middle Eastern countries did not open their borders for refugees. Turkey, bordering Syria and Iraq, but geographically not in the Middle East, became host to most of the refugees.
In August 2015, the refugee crisis in the Middle East became a global issue when thousands of refugees tried to enter Europe to seek asylum. The wave of refugees escaping from their war-struck countries brought unforeseen challenges to Europe. Over one million people – refugees, displaced persons and other migrants – made their way to the EU in 2015. The EU states are signatory to the 1951 Geneva Convention on the protection of refugees which recognizes asylum as a fundamental right and an international obligation. However, the absence of a coherent and uniform EU policy to deal with the arrival of several thousand refugees poses a formidable challenge to European leaders. Moreover, the sudden influx of refugees in Europe exposed the flaws and bottlenecks of the existing immigration laws and their implementation.
After all, due to the influx of refugees, Europe is not only facing a number of political and economic challenges, but also has to face logistical hardships, such as accommodation and registration of refugees, providing them food, shelter, housing, medical support, etc. The refugee crisis in Europe has also raised terror threats. In popular media the refugees are portrayed as a security challenge for Europe, mainly after the Paris attacks of November 2015 when it was revealed that the Paris football stadium attacker used a “stolen” or “fake” Syrian passport to enter Europe through Greece. The situation further worsened in 2016, when scores of people in Europe were killed in multiple attacks: the bomb explosions at Brussels airport, the lorry attack in Nice during Bastille Day celebrations and the string the of attacks in German cities including shootings in Munich and the attacks in Berlin’s Christmas markets.
In other words, the terrorist networks spread horror and Islamophobia in foreign countries, too. They recruited many people from Europe, especially from Russia, and carried out large-scale attacks against innocent civilians. This weakened the chance of citizenship for asylum seekers and refugees.
Following the fall of the Taliban’s regime, Afghanistan did not change into a secure country since the Taliban continued fighting. Worst of all, the emergence of self-styled Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) left the security situation more volatile and hundreds of people were killed while worshipping, trading, going to work, schools, etc. mostly on the basis of their racial and religious backgrounds. Subsequently, people lost their trust in the government and sought refuge to foreign countries.
The National Unity Government (NUG) did not fulfill its mouth-watering promises. First of all, the officials could not resolve tension within the government’s body and exchanged harsh rhetoric against one another. This tension compounded the public disappointment and made them lose their trust in peace and stability. In his recent statement on Wednesday, Afghan Chief Executive Officer Dr. Abdullah Abdullah said that they did not fulfill their promise made to the nation. He said that they had to be brave enough to acknowledge this fact.
Peace and stability are on the basic needs of all people. It goes without saying that when there is no peace, citizens will not be able to continue their social, political, cultural, and economic activities freely. Therefore, Afghanistan also encounter economic crisis and thousands of people remained jobless. With the rise in unemployment, people will wrestle with financial challenges. So, no effective strategy was adopted by the government to tackle the two formidable challenges namely insecurity and economic stagnation. In such a case, should we not justify the youths to abandon the country?
Needless to say, when the society is embroiled in insecurity and unemployment, there are three ways left for citizens: abandon the country, suffer severely, or succumb to crime as the last resort. A group of people also chose the third way and the crime rate such as robbery, death, extortion, etc. has increased dramatically. To stop migration, the NUG will have to adopt an effective strategy to resolve the challenges.

Hujjatullah Zia is the permanent writer of the Daily Outlook Afghanistan. He can be reached at zia_hujjat@yahoo.com

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