Chris Markiewicz's Blog
Every Monday – thoughts, observations and ideas that hold up a mirror to who & how we are


Waiting in a hotel lobby the other day, my eyes went to one of those TV screens you see almost everywhere nowadays, showing rolling news with the sound turned down. This one was tuned to CNN and featured filmed images from Europe of refugees trying to cross over a border.

Among the crowd, I spotted a young girl, perhaps 4 or 5 years old, on her father’s arm. Both were facing away, so I couldn’t see their faces. She was wearing a colourful striped top, blue jeans and her hair had been carefully formed into a bun on the top of her head.

This father and daughter might just as well have been on my local high street. They didn’t look like typical, bedraggled refugees. Yet, in an odd way, that made the image all the more poignant, more tragic. Despite their appearance, that father & daughter have no home, may even have no shelter for the night, few possessions, little money and the most uncertain of futures.

The image has stayed in my mind since last Wednesday and, for me in its own small way, sums up the tragedy that is occurring in a swathe all the way from Syria, and other places, and across much of Europe.

People were, of course, shocked and moved by the images of the young lad who perished on the Turkish beach a few weeks back. This more recent image seems to have affected me in a similar way, by prompting some tough and tortuous questions:

Who is that girl? How will her life unfold? Where will her next meal come from? Will she be alive this time next year, or even this time next month? How is she at this very moment, as I (the son of wartime refugees) sit and type this piece?

One unknown girl and her dad, on my mind. One small child, among thousands upon thousands of others in a similar position, while a helpless world looks on, courtesy of CNN…….

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