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REPORT | REFUGEE CRISIS – Looking beyond the headlines

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As the global refugee crisis continues, countries in the Levant and Muslim world need to work together with partners in the EU to create institutions and processes that place simple human dignity at the forefront, said HRH Prince El Hassan bin Talal, Prince of Jordan and Chairman of the WANA Institute.

Speaking at a Friends of Europe event in Brussels, he noted that the number of refugees in the Levant and Eastern Mediterranean, particularly in Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and the Palestinian territories, is now over seven million with Syrian refugees in Jordan alone numbering 1.4 million.

“The refugee crisis is not just an intellectual exercise,” he said. “It is about millions of real people who are facing a very uncertain future in different parts of the world.”

While the general public in Europe has been quite compassionate, the tide seems to be turning towards suspicion of refugees and migrants, noted moderator Shada Islam, Director for Europe and Geopolitics at Friends of Europe.

“The refugee crisis has become a very political issue in the EU,” she said. “Populists and the far right are rising and speaking about refugees in very derogatory terms.”

“The egos have landed,” HRH noted. “We must fight against leaving politics to iconic figures who profit from their popularity and populism. We must see through the stereotypes and deal with each other in real terms.”

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