The Plight of a Syrian Refugee Planning His Escape to Europe Brings Out Xenophobia on Twitter

This is all that Abu Yazan, a Syrian refugee, will take with him on his escape to Europe, tweets journalist @jenanmoussa, who is interviewing him

This is all that Abu Yazan, a Syrian refugee, will take with him on his escape to Europe, tweets journalist @jenanmoussa, who is interviewing him on Twitter now

A Syrian refugee who is planning his flight to Europe was asked hateful and xenophobic questions while being interviewed live on Twitter.

Journalist Jenan Moussa was live-tweeting her interview with Abu Yazan, who is in Turkey, under the hashtag #AskAlaan. Moussa unleashed the monster when she tweeted to her 94K followers:

Here are some of the questions readers asked Abu Yazan and by extension the thousands of Syrian refugees making their way out of Syria, with the hope of resettling in Europe, as the war continues in their homeland for the fourth year. In response to Moussa's question, Tarak blurts:

WhatsMyname adds:

Orobas continues:

And Juulde Toeret suggests:

Abu Yazan, who is carrying with him some loose change, keys to his home in Syria and his scooter, which were destroyed by the regime, and the clothes he wore while in a Nusra (splinter group from ISIS) jail, is planning to eventually end up in Germany.

And he has every right to be scared of the route. Syrian refugees risk all to make the perilous journey on boats and rubber dinghies to Greece, their foothold into Europe. From there, if they survive, they make their way to Western Europe. According to Syrian Refugees, a site run by the Migration Policy Centre at the European University Institute:

An estimated 9 million Syrians have fled their homes since the outbreak of civil war in March 2011, taking refuge in neighbouring countries or within Syria itself. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), over 3 million have fled to Syria's immediate neighbours Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. 6.5 million are internally displaced within Syria. Meanwhile, under 150,000 Syrians have declared asylum in the European Union, while member states have pledged to resettle a further 33,000 Syrians. The vast majority of these resettlement spots – 28,500 or 85% – are pledged by Germany.

A report published by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) states:

In the first six months of this year, 137,000 refugees
and migrants crossed the Mediterranean Sea,
travelling in terrible conditions upon unsafe boats
and dinghies.
Many more tried, but didn’t make it. In mid-April
2015, 800 people died in the largest refugee
shipwreck on record, highlighting a staggering
increase in refugees and migrants dying or missing
at sea.

Only today, news headlines brought home the horror facing Syrian refugees making the boat trip to Greece, after photographs of drowned victims, including children, were shared far and wide putting a face and story on the tragedy.

However, not all those crossing the Mediterranean to Greece and Italy are Syrians. They are joined by refugees and migrants from around the world driven into the water by their will to survive. Altogether, the number of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean to reach Europe has surpassed 300,000 this year, up from 219,000 during the whole of 2014, according to the UNHCR.

Will Abu Yazan make it to Germany? And how will his life be like?

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