Why is it that only the liberal Western democracies are expected to take refugees and all of the totalitarian an oppressive regimes get a pass?
But no Syrian refugees have been resettled in Persian Gulf nations like Kuwait, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates, countries with significant financial and political interest in Syria.
Officials in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman and the UAE defend themselves by noting that each has given millions of dollars to the United Nations to help the refugees. The UAE says it’s given more than $530 million in relief aid. They stress that Syrians have entered Gulf states on visas, and stayed.
And they also employ a “What about them?” defense, noting that the Gulf states aren’t the only nations not helping give homes to victims of war. Amnesty International points out that other high-income countries like Russia, Japan, Singapore and South Korea have offered zero resettlement options.
This is simple geography. To migrate towards Turkey and eventually Europe is to migrate away from war (death). To migrate towards war and then face hundreds and hundreds of miles of hostile occupied desert to get to Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Oman or the UAE would go against all survival instincts. The middle eastern countries listed in this article that have excepted immigrants (Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Egypt) are all in a direction away from conflict. Once the refugees are away from the danger and temporarily settled other middle eastern countries will open there doors. Remember Hurricane Katrina and the mass migration that ensued. Many people fled for safety first (away from the disaster) and worried about stable housing later. Many were eventually (months and months later) settled in other states and even other countries. Same applies here. It takes time.