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.
9:41am Wednesday 29th July 2015
An Oxford street remains closed after canisters containing an unidentified substance were discovered.
10:00pm Tuesday 28th July 2015
FOUR people were killed in traffic accidents in 24 hours on Oxfordshire’s roads.
6:30am Wednesday 29th July 2015
CONFLICT between wheelchair users and parents with buggies has led to problems on the buses across Oxfordshire.
9:00am Wednesday 29th July 2015
POLICE chief Francis Habgood has said “difficult choices” will have to be made about policing across the Thames Valley.
9:31am Wednesday 29th July 2015
A NEIGHBOUR helped an elderly couple to safety after their home was filled with smoke from a burnt-out boiler, the fire service said.
7:00am Wednesday 29th July 2015
A WARD of 30 beds at Witney Community Hospital will shut for seven months to send staff elsewhere in the county and save money, it was announced yesterday.