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  1. Merry Christmas However, while peace and happiness seem to be a given and a right for many of us, let us not forget the children, women and men (in that order) of Yemen and Syria and the exiled people of Burma (Myanmar), known as the Rohinga tribe, who have lived in Burma for centuries. Isn't it remarkable how the world has turned its back on the dying babies of Yemen and the fleeing hiordes of Burma? Wealthy nations, partly for oil and partly in the unending quest to expand their influence, have been wooing Saudi Arabia and lately that friendship has been going from strength to strength. And who must pay the price? The helpless children of Yemen, dying of malnutrition and cholera in their hundreds, of course. What has happened in Myanmar is also well-known. Imagine how we would feel if the entire city of Des Moines, Iowa or Düsseldorf, Germany was expelled from what has been their home for centuries. That is roughly the number of refugees in Bangla Desh. Mothers have lost their children, brothers their sisters and children their parents while trudging the path to an unknown and possibly unwelcome destination. And as often happens when a town or tribe is uprooted, predators quickly join the action. There have been reports that traffickers have found their way into the refugee camps to entice young girls with the promise of a job, only to try to sell them into a brothel. That is how refugee girls are being treated by predators, who have managed to outwit the forces of law, and instead of comforting them and trying to provide for their needs are trying to make a quick buck out of them. Nations of the world have been shouting themselves hoarse at North Korea but hardly a whimper at the atrocities by the governments of Saudi Arabia and Burma. Do we really need to be happy, or shall I say do we really deserve to be happy, when our fellow human beings are suffering so much? But we have arrogated the right to happiness to ourselves, regardless what is happening to the rest of our species. How can we possibly even as much as smile, when world leaders are either so mute about all this or so oblivious to the sufferings of their fellow human beings that they would rather enjoy the company of rich potentates and dance with them in the obscene opulence of a Saudi palace while their victims are going through so much suffering. So much suffering indeed! If we cannot do much, let us at least pause to pray for them. God bless and merry Christmas to you and hopefully also to the distressed men, women and children of Yemen, Syria, Burma and the rest of the world.
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