Syrian Refugee Puts Paris Attacks Into Perspective In One Simple Sentence

CREDIT: AP Photo/Peter Dejong

Flowers are put in a window shattered by a bullet as a forensic marker sits next to the impact as people pay their respect to the victims at the site of the attacks on restaurant Le Petit Cambodge in Paris, France on Sunday, Nov. 15, 2015.

Fearing reprisals for the deadly attacks in Paris on Friday which are believed to have been carried out by at least one Syrian, refugees across Europe are bracing themselves for a backlash.

“We are with them right now, just to help them with this crisis,” a Syrian refugee who walked for 17 days before he made his way to Germany said.

Ghaled, 22, who was a dentistry student in Syria before he was forced to flee the conflict there, visited the French embassy in Berlin to pay his respects to those killed in coordinated bomb and gun attacks across Paris.

“What’s happening to them is happening every day in Syria, 100 times per day for five years, so we know what that means,” he said.

Such attacks have become all too common in his native country. While his math might be a bit off, Ghaled has a point about the scale of destruction.

At least 129 people in Paris have died as a result of attacks on a soccer stadium, concert hall, as well as bars and restaurants. That number might rise since another 99 are believed to have been seriously injured, but as it stands, it falls short of what Syrians have faced on a day-to-day basis at the hands of a brutal regime and a ruthless terrorist organization.

According to conservative estimates, about 210,060 people have died in Syria since civil war engulfed the country four years ago. That means that an average of 144 people in Syria have died each day, at least half of them civilians. 

In this photo from before the fire, Hundreds of tents stand between bushes in France'’s biggest refugee camp near Calais.

In this photo from before the fire, Hundreds of tents stand between bushes in France’’s biggest refugee camp near Calais.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Markus Schreiber

It’s important to note that unlike Syria, France was at peace when terror struck. A bloody rampage in a popular tourist destination will naturally garner more shock than one in a country known to have slipped into seemingly unending conflict. Still, it’s important to compare the scale of violence in Syria and in France if only to remember the situation refugees like Ghaled fled — especially as some have blamed them for the carnage.

As some have pointed out, many refugees risked their lives to flee the sort of violence and bloodshed that racked Paris on Friday. 

Despite this, refugees have become the targets of attack across Europe. A fire swept through one sprawling camp in Calais, France just after mayhem broke out in Paris.

UPDATE NOV 16, 2015 8:48 AM

According to Calais Action, a grassroots organization that supports camp residents, the fire was not caused by an arson. It was "just a small fire that the guys had lit that grew uncontrollable with the wind. it was tragic of course- 40 homes were lost, but there were no lives lost and no foul-play suspected," according to a statement from the group received by ThinkProgress. This article has been edited to reflect this news.

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