You are Aylan Kurdi

Three years ago, your were born .. Little Aylan Kurdi.

You were born on a land known for its generous people, for its rich culture, for its beautiful nature.. Brown eyes, brown hair, little brother to Galip, son to Abdullah and Rehan. You never saw the land we called Syria, you never felt that fresh breeze brushing off the Syrian mountains and the smell of the Mediterranean coast on a hot summer day. You never heard the numerous stories about your ancestors, about the generosity of your people, you never tasted the incredibly delicious shami cuisine. 

Instead, you were born in the midst of a vicious cycle of violence, a bloody civil war. You saw nothing but human hatred.. you felt nothing but fear… you smelt nothing but blood.. you heard nothing but the brutal sound of killing … you tasted nothing but betrayal and revenge. 

Syria, Oh Syria… What has happened to you ? We grew up learning about your rich history .. We grew up listening to stories about your educated, hard-working citizens.. we grew up watching your shows… Watching you vanish into rubble, watching your thousands of years of history disappear, watching your people being called ‘refugees’ and ‘asylum seekers’ walking bare foot in foreign countries aches my heart.. And for what reason? Who is responsible for this? Who is benefitting from this? 

Little Aylan, your picture defines the human catastrophe we live in today.. You were neglected, you were abandoned and forgotten.. And for that I have no words to describe to you how sorry I am, how much I wish I could have held you in my arms just as I hold my own children .. I wish I could have blocked away the sound of bombs dropping around you.. Ya habibi, how I wish I could have caught you when you slipped away from your father’s arms into the cold and bitter sea .. 

Little Aylan, washed ashore off of the Mediterranean, you drowned while we drowned in tears and shame for the state that we as humans have reached. How could we have watched you drown while we sat on our comfortable couches, how could we have seen your innocence stripped away from you like that?

Little Aylan, your father risked his life to cross the sees and bring you to safety after the world washed their hands from your problem and pretended your problem is not theirs… Today he goes back to the very same place he escaped from, alone, empty handed, broken hearted, to burry you, your brother and your mother.. The sea was just as cruel as the land.. 

  
Little Aylan, you are the symbol of today’s inhumane crisis… You are the Handala of the Syrian people.. You are our consciousness that has died.. You are our dignity that we gave up .. You are the innocent scream of thousands that have drowned in the Mediterranean trying to escape .. You are the cry for freedom.. you are my child…

You are Aylan Kurdi, the three year old that drowned, searching for safety.. You are not just another refugee.. 

No.. You are Aylan Kurdi ..

  

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There’s gotta be more to life ….

We are often so consumed in our own lives, trying so hard to make a living for ourselves. We grow up, we go to school, get a job, maybe get married and maybe have a child, or two or three, maybe some more. We spend hours at a job that we might not even enjoy, but hey it pays the bills and puts food on the table.

Routine day in and day out is the story of most of our lives. Routine often makes us forget to be thankful for the countless blessings we’ve been blessed with. The education that enlightened us, the job that provided, the food that’s served on our tables, the roof that protects us, the beds we sleep on so comfortably, the blankets that keep us warm, the children that give us joy, the friends we share wonderful memories with.

Unfortunately what we most often forget are those less fortunate than us, we forget that there’s more to life than ourselves, our family and our friends. We forget that there are people that sleep alone at night waiting for the sun to rise, there are people on the side of the road shivering their heart out in below zero weather, there are people that collect food out of garbage cans just to survive to the next day, there are people that have been deprived of love, of peace, of a smile from a child.

Where are we from all this? Have we forgotten that charity in Islam is not merely giving money once a year? Have we forgotten that there are countless ways to give charity, countless ways to help. Charity is giving food, giving clothing, providing shelter, providing guidance; even smiling is an act of charity in Islam.

I refuse to live my life feeling that I have not contributed; I have not made a difference. I refuse to turn a blind eye to the poor and needy and to those suffering.  There’s gotta be more to life, there’s gotta be a reason why some are forced to suffer while others are given the chance to enjoy every aspect of living. How will we ever learn what compassion is, what empathy is, what true love is without extending a helping hand to someone that needs it? How will we ever learn about suffering without witnessing someone who has suffered?

Through VON (Victorian Order of Nurses) I volunteer to visit a senior citizen every week to keep her company through her lonely days

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There’s so much potential in all of us to make a change in the life of a helpless person. There’s so much I want to do, so much I wish for. I wish and god is my witness that I can feed every starving child in Alyarmook refugee camp just like I feed my own children. I wish I can visit every displaced Syrian shivering to death under tents on the borders and cover them with warm blankets. I wish I can provide hope and love to a mother who has lost all her children in a battle she has nothing to do with.  I wish I can cover the ears of children so they don’t hear the bombs falling.

But since my dreams are much bigger than what I can realistically do, I start here, I make a change here. I wish I can encourage everyone to dig deep inside and find that bit of compassion in their heart to make a difference. I pray that I can one day look back at my life and know that I have wiped someone’s tears of pain and put a smile on their face instead, that I have given someone hope for tomorrow and that I have contributed to a positive change in the world. Because really, there’s nothing more valuable than knowing that you have put a smile on someone’s face even if it were just for moments.

 

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Feed the streets: An initiative to feed the homeless in Toronto.

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Clothes collection for Syria

Clothes collection for Syria

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Food drive for Eden Food Bank in Mississauga

Food drive for Eden Food Bank in Mississauga

 

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As a healthcare worker, I wish to see the most vulnerable healthy and disease free. Through World Vision, I can contribute to this..

As a healthcare worker, I wish to see the most vulnerable healthy and disease free. Through World Vision, I can contribute to this..

 

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