In late 2015, almost in a flash, those seeking asylum had moved from being called “swarms of people” by then-British Prime Minister David Cameron to being welcomed by a country full of “extra compassion.”A single photo that traveled the world was seen as being largely responsible for the change: The haunting image of dead toddler Alan Kurdi, lying face down after washing up on a Turkish beach on September 2, 2015.In a small boat meant for a maximum of eight, 16 people including his family were attempting to reach Greece from Turkey, capsizing shortly after its departure. On that same boat journey, Alan’s brother Ghalib and mother Rehanna died, along with nine other Syrians, but it was that picture that seemed to change everything.Newsweek subscription offers >Alan’s aunt, Tima, who was living in Canada, told the BBC in 2015: “It was something about that picture, God put the light on that picture to wake up the world.”Many European countries moved quickly to rethink existing immigration policies and the whole language around refugees had changed. Germany welcomed 1 million refugees that year.Now, on the fifth anniversary of his tragic death, has that “light” really woken up the world?At least 300 people… Read full this story
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