Father of Alan Kurdi calls world to 'open doors' to refugees

Father of drowned Syrian toddler, ho lost his wife, two children sends message to world to “open doors,” help Syrian refugees

Photo by: AFP
Photo by: AFP

Abdullah Kurdi, father of the Syrian toddler Alan who drowned

Updated Dec 24, 2015

The father of the Syrian toddler, who drowned off the western Turkish shores, asks the world to “open” their doors to the Syrian refugees fleeing war.

The boy, Alan Kurdi, became the symbol of the refugee crisis after drowning in September when the flimsy inflatable boat he was on capsized as his family was attempting to cross the Mediterranean to reach Greece with the purpose of seeking asylum in Europe.

Abdullah Kurdi, Alan’s father, has a message to the world which will be broadcasted by Britain's Channel 4 on Christmas Day.

"My message is I'd like the whole world to open its doors to Syrians. If a person shuts a door in someone's face, this is very difficult," Abdullah says in the video message.

"When a door is opened they no longer feel humiliated," he adds, according to a transcript released by Channel 4.

This year, more than one million refugees reached Europe, according to the UN Refugee Agency, almost 970,000 of them arrived in Europe after passing through the Mediterranean in small boats. But a total of 3,692 refugees died or disappeared while crossing the Mediterranean.

The shocking images of the three-year old toddler lying on the beach pushed European leaders to hold several emergency summits to search for a solution to the refugee crisis, which is currently the worst since the World War II.

Days after the incident Abdullah, who is now in Iraq's Erbil, took the bodies of his wife, Rayhan and two children, Alan and Ghaleb, and buried them in his home town of Kobane in Syria. The town of Kobane had witnessed intense conflict between DAESH and Kurdish militia for months last year.

"At this time of year I would like to ask you all to think about the pain of fathers, mothers and children who are seeking peace and security," says Kurdi.

"We ask just for a little bit of sympathy from you."

On Wednesday, at least 10 refugees including five children died close to the Greek Aegean island of Farmakonisi when their boat sank. This situation shows that the refugee crisis can not be solved unless the actual reasons contributing to it are eliminated. 

TRTWorld and agencies