Thursday, 2 May 2013

Do the Chimes of Freedom flash for the refugees of Syria?

 The Civil War in Syria is more than a proxy-conflict between acolytes of Russia, China and the USA. It is a story of human suffering beyond imagination;
“Look. This. My son has shrapnel in his face, he can’t breathe through his nose and he cannot hear any more. He needs an operation. But we are living this nightmare. Help us. For God’s sake please help us.” (World Vision blog)

The Zataari camp on the Jordanian border is struggling with the humanitarian response required to care for the number of the refugees. There are officially 160,000 people living here making it the largest refugee camp in the world and the fifth biggest city in Jordan. 

This camp is located in a desert; consequently there are huge difficulties in supplying water and hygienic toilet facilities. The standard ratio for lavatories in a humanitarian crisis camp is 1:20. The current ratio for lavatories in Zataari is 1:100. This is not just a question of comfort; water-borne disease is the single biggest threat to life in these situations.

The humanitarian response has even more difficulties within the Syrian borders; neither the government nor the rebels recognise the role of an independent charity offering aid.
“Because it’s a polarised crisis, everyone considers that if you are not with them you are against them. So everybody might consider you their enemy if they have that in mind.” (Syrian Red Crescent)

The politics of the Syrian crisis are every bit as complicated as the humanitarian challenge. The UN is a political organisation as well as a humanitarian one; as a consequence the aid response is hampered by the paralysis of the Security Council.

“With new refugee arrivals outpacing the capacity of the United Nations to receive and register them, a vulnerable family can wait three months before they start getting official help.” CAFOD blog

The people suffering in this region are the victims of a bloody war between rival political factions. They are ordinary human beings in need of help; they are teachers, accountants, shopkeepers and cleaners. They are mothers, fathers and children fleeing from violence and death towards hunger and misery.

3 million Syrian people have fled their homes. They need food, shelter & medical care. Text DEC to 70000 to donate £5 or DONATE via

Chimes of Freedom (Bob Dylan)
Far between sundown’s finish an’ midnight’s broken toll
We ducked inside the doorway, thunder crashing
As majestic bells of bolts struck shadows in the sounds
Seeming to be the chimes of freedom flashing
Flashing for the warriors whose strength is not to fight
Flashing for the refugees on the unarmed road of flight
An’ for each an’ ev’ry underdog soldier in the night
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing
In the city’s melted furnace, unexpectedly we watched
With faces hidden while the walls were tightening
As the echo of the wedding bells before the blowin’ rain
Dissolved into the bells of the lightning
Tolling for the rebel, tolling for the rake
Tolling for the luckless, the abandoned an’ forsaked
Tolling for the outcast, burnin’ constantly at stake
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing
Through the mad mystic hammering of the wild ripping hail
The sky cracked its poems in naked wonder
That the clinging of the church bells blew far into the breeze
Leaving only bells of lightning and its thunder
Striking for the gentle, striking for the kind
Striking for the guardians and protectors of the mind
An’ the unpawned painter behind beyond his rightful time
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing
Through the wild cathedral evening the rain unraveled tales
For the disrobed faceless forms of no position
Tolling for the tongues with no place to bring their thoughts
All down in taken-for-granted situations
Tolling for the deaf an’ blind, tolling for the mute
Tolling for the mistreated, mateless mother, the mistitled prostitute
For the misdemeanor outlaw, chased an’ cheated by pursuit
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing
Even though a cloud’s white curtain in a far-off corner flashed
An’ the hypnotic splattered mist was slowly lifting
Electric light still struck like arrows, fired but for the ones
Condemned to drift or else be kept from drifting
Tolling for the searching ones, on their speechless, seeking trail
For the lonesome-hearted lovers with too personal a tale
An’ for each unharmful, gentle soul misplaced inside a jail
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing
Starry-eyed an’ laughing as I recall when we were caught
Trapped by no track of hours for they hanged suspended
As we listened one last time an’ we watched with one last look
Spellbound an’ swallowed ’til the tolling ended
Tolling for the aching ones whose wounds cannot be nursed
For the countless confused, accused, misused, strung-out ones an’ worse
An’ for every hung-up person in the whole wide universe
An’ we gazed upon the chimes of freedom flashing
Copyright © 1964 by Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1992 by Special Rider Music

No comments:

Post a Comment