Activist Anny Khan founded a new human rights group in the Seattle area. Americans for Refugees and Immigrants is a newly established human rights campaign with a focus on the rebuilding of refugee camps in host countries in an attempt to relieve a small part of the economic burden. According to ARI’s Facebook page “ARI believes it has a moral responsibility to stand up for justice & equality for refugees and immigrants coming to the Land Of Dreams & Oppurtunities!”. Anny Khan says “We should not be punishing host countries for their generosity by leaving them stranded in dealing with crisis’s from all over the world not just Syria. Jordan & Lebanon, these countries are breaking down under the burden of these overcrowded refugee camps.”
Ultimately, the group is interested in the resettlement of Syrian refugees in the United States. They are starting the process of meeting with city council members and state representatives in an effort to put pressure on the federal government to increase the number of refugees allowed in the US. Additionally, Khan says that with the number of American military bases in the Middle East that the US government should be using the resources already there. “We are against troops on the ground. But we do believe we can use any of the US naval bases around that area to rescue these people on boats in the Mediterranean Sea and transport them to land safely.”
On Monday, September 28th, a small but vocal group of activists met at the Henry M. Jackson Federal building in downtown Seattle to make their voices heard that refugees are welcome in Washington. Chants of “Say it loud, say it clear, refugees are welcome here”, “No one is illegal, refugees are people, and “From Syrian to Mexico, borders have got to go.” could be heard echoing of the walls of downtown Seattle. Two of the activists involved with the demonstration at the Federal building work with Oxfam America, who is part of a coalition of aid organizations providing relief in Syria and are helping with refugees in Jordan and Lebanon. More information on Oxfam’s work can be found here…http://www.oxfamamerica.org/take-action/save-lives/syria-crisis/.