21st August 2017

2.5 Speech

A dead boy, a refugee from Syria, found lying face down on the beach in Turkey. 52 people found dying in the Sahara, after being abandoned by smugglers and a lot more being murdered or killed by dehydration, hunger, or falling off overloaded trucks. These are just two of the thousands of terrible things that have happened to refugees. Did you know that one in every 113 people in the world today are refugees? Did you also know that there are 65 million people today, who are forced to leave their homes, and currently seeking for places to rebuild their lives. 65 million is the highest number it has ever been in all human history, but this number is still rising day by day. At this point you may be thinking,  Why do you we have to care about the rise of this number? Is this issue relevant to us? Yes, yes, it is. New Zealand accepts 1000 refugees each year from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq , and many more. These people are in need for your help. Today I’m going to share with you the stories of Nujeen Mustafa, Farida Khalaf, and what they and, other refugees have to endure before immigrating to the country of their dreams, Germany.

In August 2014, Farida was just a normal Yazidi girl, she lived with her family at the village in Northern Iraq. She was under the illusion that she had the perfect life. Her family owned a house with a beautiful garden in which berry, almond, apricot trees, vegetables, and roses grew. In summer, her mother, and younger brothers would spend most of their time out in the sun, enjoying their final wonderful summer in the little paradise. Farida attended school in the area; she was the smartest person in the class, and had a dream of becoming a maths teacher. One day, her village was attacked by one of the biggest, most violent, terrorist group in the world,ISIS. This experience meant her whole world was changed after that. The ISIS fighter, first took the men away to the mountain in the village, and tortured them to death, this included Farida’s father and elder brother. ISIS then separated the married women and single women. Because she was a virgin, she was taken to the black market to be sold as a sex slave in Syria. Everyday, “customers” came in to inspect the girls available.Before her courageous escape, she was exposed to the traumatising of a modern sex slave. She was admitted to the hospital several times because of the punishment, when she refused to comply. During the day, she would be locked in a dark room with the least amount of food possible. Her “owner” grew tired of paying for the medical bills,so he sent her off to a military camp. There, she had a job of pleasuring the ISIS fighters. One day, when she was doing a cleaning job inside the camp, she found a phone, and a sim card, so her friend used it to connect with her uncle in Germany. Her uncle found them a businessman, who could help them escape, but she would have to get out of the ISIS territory first. The next night, the men were engaged in heavy fighting with another terrorist group, so Farida and her friends took their chance. They ran away to the desert, and met a lovely family who gave them shelter, food, and water. After they had fully recovered, they connected with the businessman again, and escaped to Kurdistan. Farida reunited with her mother, younger brother, and they immigrated to Germany together.

Another story I want to share with you is from Nujeen Mustafa. Nujeen was born with the disease called, “Cerebral Palsy”, this means that she cannot work and has to spend most of her time on a wheelchair. When she was still in Syria, she was trapped in a fifth-floor apartment and unable to go to school. But, this did not stop her from learning or dreaming. She educated herself by watching documentaries and learning facts on Google, and also taught herself to speak fluent English by watching her favorite American TV Show, “Day of Our Lives”. In 2014, her hometown became the centre of the fighting between ISIS fighters and Kurdish forces. Because of the daily bombing and continuous threats from ISIS, her family was forced to flee across the border to Turkey. Despite her physical limitations, she traveled across Turkey to Greece to Serbia to Hungary, and then finally Germany. This was all done by foot, boat, and bus. She even said to the BBC reporter that ” You should fight for what you want in this world. It’s a journey for a new life.”

After hearing both of these stories, do you think Germany should take in more refugees? A new study has shown that 54% of the German population suggested that the country has reached its maximum number of refugees and should not be taking any more, up from just 40% in 2015. Angela Markel, chancellor of Germany, said that she wished she could go back in time so that the government and the people responsible for refugees could be more prepared. She has faced strong criticism over the years for her “open door policy” in 2015. Since then, a number of terror attacks have been carried out by Germany by refugees. In July 2016, a refugee from Afghanistan attacked people on the train with an axe, as he shouted “God is great” , injuring 5 people. Another attack happened just 6 days after, a pregnant woman was killed by a 21-year old Syrian refugee with a blade. He was stopped by a brave BMW driver who ran up to him. The guy lied motionless and was later arrested by the police.

Another perspective I want to share with you is from Duncan Garner who thinks New Zealand should be taking 1500 refugees in each year. In 1987, our refugee quota was 800 but in 2015, when the refugee crisis broke out in Europe for the first time, the quota was only 750 so technically, we take fewer refugees, despite the issue being bigger New Zealand being a much wealthier and more multi-cultural country. We are lucky that we are an isolated country, far away from all the issues, but are we really doing the right thing to help out our world, our friends, and those people in need? ” “When it comes to taking in refugees, New Zealand scores very poorly. We rank 95th in the world in terms of refugees taken per capita and 122nd in refugees taken relative to our GDP. ” Duncan Garner said that ” it’s been this way for far too long and we’ve gone backwards. Over the same period, Australia is offering 12,000 places, that’s 9.6 times as many places as New Zealand is offering. We need to look in the mirror and be honest about ourselves.”

In conclusion, after hearing my speech and a few unfair and heartless things that have happened to Farida and Nujeen. Do you think this is right? Do you think we should make some changes in the world and give these people a better life? The refugee crisis may be the most complex event in history but the way of helping them is not too complex at all. You can help them by simply donating money to organizations like British Red Cross, The UN refugee agency, and Refugee Council or volunteer in countries where refugees are located. I believe that refugees deserve better. They deserve to have a home, a full-time job, a family like normal people.I hope listening to my speech helped you understand their situation better. Thank you

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