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Remembering Alan Kurdi

October 17, 2023

Dear Alan,

I am writing this similar post as I have been doing for the past six years and on this very day.

Six years ago, today you changed my life.

Six years later I am still here helping displaced people seeking refuge and asylum from war, conflict, oppression, and terrorism.

I am sorry Alan Kurdi that you are NOT amongst us, about to start a new term at school or playing out in the park like my nephew.

I am also sorry to ALL those who have lost lives, their family members, their homes, been tortured, forced to live in deprived refugees camp conditions and been on traumatic journeys only to seek safety. I am sorry.

A staggering 82.4 million people worldwide have been forcibly displaced in this current time.

Among them are nearly 26.4 million refugees, around half of whom are under the age of 18.

So, every year I post about your death anniversary and the beginning of my current journey as a volunteer and aid worker, or as I like to think, my current journey as a mother, sister, daughter, and a friend to thousands of people.

Alan, I am burdened by the injustices against man kind and the inhumanity I witness every day.

  • The people I am supporting displaced in Greece struggle to survive every day.
  • There are people who reach land and instead of being given their basic human right to seek asylum they are pushed back by heartless authorities, leaving people violated, traumatised and dead.
  • Aid workers are being criminalised merely for wanting to help people in need and making sure their voices are heard and the violations against them accounted for.
  • Coronavirus pandemic meant that people in camps who already live in a state of isolation were further discriminated against and put at risk.
  • Over the past weeks, there has been an onslaught on our brothers and sisters from Afghanistan.
  • Worldwide our brothers and sisters are still suffering in wars which the world is soon to forget, yet we as a world entity refuse them a safe passage.

If we don’t see babies washed up dead, on shores, we see babies being desperately handed over walls for safety.

A desperate parent tried to pass a baby over the fence at Kabul airport, as Taliban overtakes the country.

This is my seventh winter helping in the current refugee crisis. It was torturous last year, and it will be as predicted, horrific this year too.

I feel nothing but sad. The conditions in the Greek refugee camps are poor and you can sense depression, desperation, and isolation in the air.

Myself and my team will continue to support as many people as we can with food, winter aid and other basic-necessities.

Let it be known that we may have lost people as a world entity due to a lack of humanitarianism but there are still those out there who care, those who will fight for others human rights, and we will NOT FORGET the atrocities against humanity or these people.

Dear Alan, we will continue to fight for justice, or we will die trying.

My prayers are for everyone.

Rest in peace little one.

Love Ruhi Loren Akhtar (RBB Founder & CEO)

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