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European migration and the Middle East crisisFebruary 1st, 2016
David Davies MP kindly took time out of his busy schedule to give pupils from Years 9 to 13 a presentation on his recent visit to the Calais migrant camp and an overview of the Middle East crisis.
As Geography Prefect I wanted to organise a Geographical Society lunchtime lecture on this topic. It is a topic that interests me and it has constantly been in the news over the past year, with 2015 being called the ‘Year of Migration’. I invited David Davies MP as I knew he had recently visited the Calais migrant camps which led to a television documentary. Mr Davies presented part of this programme to the audience of over 50 pupils. It was shocking to see the poor living conditions of the thousands of migrants which have gathered in this part of northern France. Many risk their lives each night to board trains and lorries to the UK.
Mr Davies then went on to give a brief introduction to the current problems in the Middle East, which isn’t an easy task to do in 20 minutes. It was a thought-provoking talk which conveyed how complicated the situation is, with numerous countries, tribal groups and religions competing and conflicting with each other. The current civil war in Syria and unrest in Iraq and Libya has allowed terror groups like ISIS to grow and also has stimulated mass migration. Since 2011, 4 million people have left Syria. Mr Davies concluded with some ideas for the possible ways ahead with the need for talks and negotiations with the Syrian government, the need for a stable Shia Government in Iraq which includes Sunni tribes, rapprochement with Iran and the need to defeat ISIS militarily.
There was time after the presentation for numerous questions including ‘Can the UK cope with migrants?’ ‘Should the EU consider putting more controls on its borders?’ ‘Should Denmark be taking money off migrants?’ Mr Davies answered these with great care and sensitivity due to the controversial nature of topic. All the pupils that attended were exposed to a subject outside their curriculum and many expressed further interest after the talk.
We thank Mr Davies for his time and thought-provoking talk and hope to invite him back to HMSG in the future.