THE near unimaginable tragedy that has befallen a former Oxford Brookes scholar and his family should awaken us all to the situation on the ground in Gaza.
Setting aside the political element of the conflict, this shows the human cost. Hassan Al Hallaq is currently lying in intensive care having lost his two sons aged six and four, his wife and their unborn baby.
Living almost anywhere else, the Al Hallaqs would, in about four weeks time, be joyfully celebrating the addition of another boy or girl to their family. They would be looking forward to a future together, just as any parents would.
But that happy future has been torn apart.
Often with conflicts of this nature, most of us look at the images in our newspapers or on TV, pause to consider the issue and then quickly push it all to the corner of our minds.
But less than a year ago the Al Hallaqs were here in Oxford, enjoying our beautiful and peaceful city, and immersing themselves in our community.
This fact alone should make us stop and think more thoroughly about the carnage in Gaza and, indeed, in Ukraine.
Whatever the rights and wrongs of all sides involved in these conflicts, we cannot just shrug it off as ‘someone else’s problem’ and then carry on as before.
Just because this is all happening thousands of miles away does not mean the world can turn its back as if the deaths of the Al Hallaq children mean nothing.
There is a very good reason why many immigrants come to this country.
It is for the safety and security it offers them and their families, not the welfare handouts.
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