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Saudi Arabia is not going to resettle refugees, ‘kay?

Saudi Arabia is not going to resettle refugees, ‘kay? September 4, 2015

Dear Abby*,

My elderly mother has been bedridden for the past several years.  She has no savings, and for no reason except that it makes the analogy work, she is ineligible for any kind of government assistance, so she lives with our family.  It is quite a burden, because we barely make ends meet ourselves, and our children have their own needs which are being neglected due to my mother’s need for 24-hour care, but it’s the only way I can keep her out of the almshouse, where I know (again, it’s an analogy) she would suffer horribly.

My sister is independently wealthy, doesn’t work, and has no family obligations, but she refuses to help out.  She won’t pitch in financially to pay for a home health aide, nor will she even open up her home for my mom to stay for a day or two, so that I can get some rest.  She is quite open that she bears my mother no ill will, but simply doesn’t want to give up any of her money or her time, and she suggests I simply send her to the almshouse and forget about her.

Can you suggest a twitter hashtag that would make her help out?

Sincerely,

Germany, Hungary, and the rest of Europe.

Yeah, I know, it’s a weak attempt at a metaphor, but ever since my post yesterday on the refugee-migrant crisis, I’ve been seeing suggestions that Saudi Arabia and the rest of the Gulf States should be pulling their weight.  Here’s the top google hit, a Washington Post article, “The Arab world’s wealthiest nations are doing next to nothing for Syria’s refugees,” which says that, while Europeans are receiving a great deal of criticism for being judged insufficiently-generous in their resetting of refugee-migrants,

Less ire, though, has been directed at another set of stakeholders who almost certainly should be doing more: Saudi Arabia and the wealthy Arab states along the Persian Gulf.

As Amnesty International recently pointed out, the “six Gulf countries — Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman and Bahrain — have offered zero resettlement places to Syrian refugees.”

Guess what, guys?  It is fantasy to imagine that, no matter the pressure, any of these Gulf States will take in any refugees.  Maybe they could be brought to bear to spend more on refugee camps than they are at present, but it feels delusional to imagine they’ll take in refugees (though according to this International Business Times opinion piece, at least some of these countries have naturalized at least some Arab refugees in the past), when their states function on a model of providing wealth to (ethnic) nationals, while the work is done by guest workers, who themselves are expelled if they lose their jobs, and are ineligible for any benefits or social assistance, and have no means of applying for naturalization.

And Saudi Arabia?  Can we please stop pretending they’re a civilized state?  They are every bit as willing to destroy historical sites as ISIS (see here), and are no great respecters of human rights, either.


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