Refugees and what that has to do with animal protection


Today refugees are the hot potatoes, especially after the incidents in Köln on new years eve. Now the public view is in heat. Now things are going on we thaught they would never happen again in the 21th century. But they do, cause it seems, people never learn. Bread and games, thats always working. Rising unempoyement, an constructed image oft he enemy and the fascist soup can be brought to simmer again. But not only rightwinged people react imprudent and afraid. Even friends of mine are writing comments on facebook I´m worried about.
One thing I have to say first, I also don`t have a solution. Maybe, there are only limited capacities in our country for all the people in the world, looking for a shelter.
I`ve met syrian refugees. They touched my dogs with pleasure (owing to „they would hate all animals“). The women, some oft hem with headscarf, sat relaxed on the sofa, meanwhile the men offered me cake and coffee. One was cooking flatbread on the oven, another one was cooking a rice dish, and they offered it also to me. Another one was cleaning the floor. Young syrians – and syrian women also – laughed and joked with us.
They have lost everything, good educated people with houses, cars and dogs (sic!). One family had four dogs, but they had to leave them behind. I asked, what happened tot he dogs? They were brought to a friend and they are well… I don`t know, if it`s true, but I hope so. They especially love huskies, one guy said, he had a husky that weighed 400 kilograms. I couldn`t believe it and said, that`s not possible. Maybe, it`s a misunderstanding, because our conversation was in English. „Sot!“ said the young syrian, visiting a commercial highschool (HAK) in Austria. After some toing anfd froing and big laughter he reduced the weight of his dog a little bit.
All the kids are going to the Kindergarten and the youths in school, at least those I met. The adults visit German lessons every day. A young lady laughed and throwed her hands up in despair: German is such a difficult language, she said. A friend of mine came with me and knows some words in Arabic. The young women were laughing and joking with him, while the men were sitting beside and noone cared. A small kid came and thrust the small camera, we donated to them, in my hands and wanted to know how it works. Unfortunately these camera needs a film…
Relaxed ambience in a container. They are happy about it, because before they had to live in a tent. I asked them, why the young men deny to fight in their homeland. Because they don`t know, who is their enemy, they said. That`s right… maybe, everyone could be a member of ISIS. It remembered me to the Nazi period. Neighbour, brother, friend? Enemy? If someone would attack our country offically, I would be the first to fight against it, said the young syrian. But there`s a war theater going on in his country. From the United states to Russia, from China to even North Korea… suddenly all of them are there and they don`t know why.
I asked, if they would like to go home. The answer was: Immediatly yes, if it would be possible. What do you think about Assad, I asked. I`ve got an answer in English: Maybe, he`s an idiot, but we didn`t have a bad life under his government. Ok, that was the answer of a young, good educated syrian. Somehow it chokes me.
They are getting 5 Euro per day. They share everything together, they buy food and are cooking together. They would be glad about fruits and vegetables. There can be no talk of luxuries.
I saw a young lady making the bed for her child in a tiny room.These people had a comfortable home and lost everything. I`m not afraid of them, even if I would meet them in the night. The young man talks a lot, he`s glad to communicate with someone. I can`t feel any difference in comparison with people from here.
And what has that to do with animals? I brought that people clothes, toys, perhaps I will participate on a German course in another place. But anyhow I thought: Coppler, stick to your trade. And then I looked for animal lovers who need help, maybe in Syria. There had been two applies, but no answer anymore… There had be one apply from Lebanon, but this organisation was already working under perfect circumstances and therefore my association is too small. And then Sulaiman Tamer Said from Dohuk in Kurdistan/Iraq appeared. He`s a veterinarian, who`s really engaged. He supplies stray dogs and castrate them. There are also stray monkeys, he cares for … he visits schools, supports zoos, he pays the ransome for wild animals, helps the Yasidis with their goats and sheeps and donkeys and he documents, what`s going on in the slaughterhouses: the man oft he hour.
We are in contact almost every day. My flight to Erbil was booked fort he end of november, but it was canceled. Probably, because Turkey has launched the Russian airplane. Mr. Sulaiman was disappointed, he said, he had prepared a big surprise for me. The whole family wanted to pick me up from the airport. A friend told me, families in that region reach three-place figures. Oh my god!
Since then I study the situation, because I still want to travel to Kurdistan. Sulaiman bubbles with planes and shemes. We also want to go to Sinjar, but therefore we need a licence. We want to take care for stray animals, give a lecture in a school and visit a zoo with awful conditions. Allegedly there live camels with a scad of car tyres in the corral, a lion lives together with a dog,… the animals had been a gift from Iran… and nobody in Iraq knows what to do with them… Sulaiman is also overwhelmed. I will try to bring him to Austria because he asked me to find someone to teach him for that problem.
He also wants to build an animal shelter in Dohuk, for that project he has got a ground from the state, a garbage dump… We`ve got to deal with a country, where animal protection sounds like a foreign word and other veterinarians don`t even touch stray dogs. Sulaiman helps always and everywhere. And Robin Hood will support him, the first donation we`ve already send to him to buy food. We will also work together in the future, even when the world around is trembling.
Some told me: stay at home, you can`t travel there as a woman. Sulaiman promised, he will keep an eye on me.
Usually I don`t like that. But I will accept it in that case and won`t go on expedition alone, it`s not necessary to tempt fate. I want to get an idea oft he people there. For sure Kurdistan is different, but the ethnic groups in Austria are also diverse. And I want to help where noone else takes care. Maybe, that`s the trademark of Robin Hood, when finally the hearts in Greenland are thawing after my efforts in 2007. And the changes have to go on inside the country, either if it`s Romania, Greenland or Kurdistan, that`s the only way to make them meaningful and sustainable. That`s what I engage for. It`s a long way to reach our targets, no matter i fit`s here or there. The journey is the reward. Salam Aleikum. Aleikum Salam.

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