So the world has been really messed up recently and there have been many reports of violation of human rights, terror attacks and torment of the poor. Reading the news just made me more angst everyday because I was stuck in the mind frame that I, a 21 year old, do not have the capacity to help them.

One day, I just did a moment of empowerment and decided that I could help if I want to. So I decided to create Syreina. It is a combination of 2 words- mermaid and majesty. I chose the mermaid because it’s the only human(ish) that can swim through a storm and strong currents, it can breathe in both water and air and it is harmless. I believe that human being’s kindness can brave through anything.

So it’s still a small instagram now but at least it is something. I plan to spread awareness on some issues through art in the instagram and through blogs in this website. As I do this, I will save money gradually to get some water filters to send to villages. I have already started gathering some textbooks that would be sent over to some children who can’t access full education. I managed to get the support of some of my friends which was really encouraging 🙂

Speaking of which, if you do know any way I can reach out to more small sized charities and humanitarian groups, do send me a message on instagram through @syreina

🙂 Have a great day

donate $$ to save the world

If you have some spare cash please do donate to Doctors Without borders, otherwise known as Medecins Sans Frontieres 🙂

Click to donate: Donate

See: Donate to MSF

Also do check out their instagram: @doctorswithoutborders

is china detaining it’s muslims?

(See: BBC- China’s Hidden CampsBBC News Article)

Refer to the links I have attached above. They have gathered evidence of camps existing but have yet to gather evidence on the real objective of the camps and who are the inmates.

The chinese officials there call it a a centre of re-learning, thus calling them “Reeducation camps”.

Oddly enough, this reminds me of another issue from China- controlling the LGBT community. The following are from a article from the Washington Post on this matter:

“It’s been more than 20 years since China decriminalized homosexuality, but LGBT people are still subjected to forced confinement, medication and even electric shocks to try to change their sexual orientation,” said Graeme Reid, LGBT rights director at Human Rights Watch.

In July, a 38-year-old gay man in central China successfully sued a psychiatric hospital, after alleging that staff members detained, drugged and beat him in an attempt to “cure” him of his homosexuality.

(See: BBC- China’s Gay ConversionWashington Post ArticleRelated News Article) China’s government seems to be controlling people who are the minority, using “correction” treatments and if all else fails, they keep you away from the community they strive to perfect.

Back to the topic, I decided to do some more readings on the people that have supposedly “gone missing” from the neighborhoods surrounding the camps. It seems that most of them could be a specific ethnic group called the Uighurs or Uyghurs.

The Uyghurs (/ˈwɡʊərz/,[15] /iˈɡʊərz/)[16][17] or Uygurs (as the standard romanisation in Chinese GB 3304-1991) are a Turkic ethnic group who live in East and Central Asia. Today, Uyghurs live primarily in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of the People’s Republic of China, where they are one of 55 officially recognized ethnic minorities. Uyghurs primarily practice Islam. Like many populations of Central Eurasia, they are genetically related to both Caucasoid and East Asian populations.[18]-WikiPedia

Rights groups say people in camps are made to learn Mandarin Chinese and criticise or renounce their faith.

-Quoted from BBC Article

(See: BBC: China Uighurs: All you need to know on Muslim ‘crackdown’Vox- China just legalized “reeducation” camps for Uighur MuslimsVox-China’s reeducation camps for Muslims are beginning to look like concentration camps )

China, based on the basis that Uyghurs have had associations with ISIS and Al-Qaeda, started up such camps to “control or reeducate the Uyghurs affected by extremist values and teachings”. Based on the few Uyghurs, they decided to do this at such a massive scale.

Based on the numberous articles I have read, rights groups have gathered from loved ones visiting those inside the camps that inside, they are taught to know the communist values and adore their Chinese President. Otherwise, they would be tortured. They are also forced to learn mandarin. Chinese authorities even stop the circulation of halal items, associating them with the extremists.

It is estimated that there are about 1 million Uyghurs in the concentration camps.

So what is the world outside doing about this? 

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has condemned the treatment of the Uighurs, but so far the Trump administration hasn’t acted.

(See: ‘Awful abuses’: US denounces China’s treatment of Uighurs)

Their own people are trying to reach out for help (See: Exiled Uyghur leader seeks UN Security Council action on China).  This article highlights some depressing details:

The exiled leader of the World Uyghur Congress urged the United Nations Security Council to take action on China over its use of detention camps for Muslims in the western autonomous region of Xinjiang.

A former human rights activist while at a university in China, Isa fled to Turkey in 1994 under fear of detention. He became a German citizen in 1996 and helped establish the World Uyghur Youth Congress.

Isa said the U.N. should pressure Beijing to close the camps through means such as passing resolutions to sanction Chinese officials, though he added that it could be difficult with China a permanent member of the security council. The leader of the group also called on U.S. President Donald Trump to take action.

China has vehemently denied allegations that it is mistreating Muslims in the region, which the Uyghur people call East Turkestan.

Hu Lianhe, a Chinese official involved with Xinjiang policy, told the U.N. Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination that there was no arbitrary detention or re-education centers.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said late last month that criticism of China’s policy in the region has no factual basis.

Those measures in Xinjiang are aimed to promote stability, development and unity, and to ensure better livelihoods,” she said at a regular briefing in Beijing. “They are carried out in order to combat ethnic separatism and terrorist criminal activities in accordance with the law, and to safeguard national security and protect people’s life and property.”

While only about 1.5% of China’s population live in Xinjiang, it accounted for more than 20% of arrests last yearaccording to data compiled by Chinese Human Rights Defenders.

Conditions have deteriorated since President Xi Jinping came to power in 2012,” Isa said. “There are police monitoring stations every 200 to 300 meters in the city, they have facial recognition cameras, and they are building new camps.”

The UN has started its investigation on the matter (See: UN ‘alarmed’ by reports of China’s mass detention of Uighurs) and China reacted: “Beijing has denied the allegations but admitted that some religious extremists were being held for re-education.”

Their reaction is akin to the many issues that many other races in many countries face. Take for instance, in America, the African-Americans are often accused to be criminals (See: Black People More Likely to Be Wrongfully Convicted of Murder, Study ShowsNordstrom Rack apologizes after 3 black men are falsely accused of stealing from Brentwood store), while in Europe, the Muslims are accused to be “terrorists” (See: Street attacks on Muslims rocket in UK as perpetrators ’emboldened’ by terror attacks and political rhetoric, report findsTerrorism has changed. Blaming Islam is blinding us to the new reality). I could state many more, but basically, in every country, there is a group that is always victim to false accusations to wrongful doing just because one of their people messed up.

China in turn, has turned the reports from the UN down, saying that the report is based on “unsubstantiated and irresponsible information” (See: China hits back after damning UN report on Uyghur ‘re-education camps’) and stated:

“China is committed to ensuring the religious freedom of the Chinese citizens,” she said, adding she hoped US lawmakers “can stop this kind of bias and stop hurting the mutual trust and cooperation between the China and the US.”

As of now, 26 October 2018, there is no firm action taken by any government or ogranisation outside of China. The Xinjiang Conflict has been on-going since the 1960s and has worsened in the recent years, especially in the past month as they launch the Anti-Halal campaign.

With the growing power of China, who else could resolve this conflict, whilst ensuring the safety of the millions of Uyghurs detained by the Chinese? Could this be the warning sign of a genocide of the modern 21st Century after Hitler’s?

For I am just a normal student, I can only do my part to spread the awareness of such an issue, while I pray for the millions affected. Feel free to research and read up more about this matter and spread the word! The Uyghurs deserve to be free and have human rights!

fashion is destroying our planet

Fashion is the world’s 2nd most polluting industry after oil.

Fashion is everywhere, and we love it.

Fashion is as beautiful as Prada, Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, Versace and many more. These are the brands that may be ridiculously expensive, but they’re actually worth it.

My generation looks to fashion like Zara, Cotton On and many others labelled under fast fashion which are cheap, but more expensive in the long run. That’s the problem.

There is a rising issue on fast fashion and it’s damaging effects on planet earth. We are all thrilled at the low costs of fashion these days and the increasing convenience it brings but are we that selfish and lazy to just think about ourselves?

I’m not saying to stop all shopping. I’m just saying, do we really need that much clothing?

You may have been told about our governments’ issues about the increasing waste produce and the environmental problems that comes with getting rid of these wastes we produce. But what you don’t know is that aside from all the plastic and food wastes, much of the landfills are occupied by cotton wastes. When cotton is burnt, greenhouse gas methane. Some clothes are not even made up of cotton, but instead, a non-biodegradable polyester or nylon. These clothes also have dyes and bleaches that end up back into our soil and groundwater after being burnt at the landfills. All of this, is essentially, poisoning our earth. (See: BBC Documentary)

We have so much wasted cotton in our landfills because we believe that we need that much clothing to function. Clothes for causal days, clothes for the Seasons, clothes for parties, clothes for chill days, clothes for dates etc. We have to have it all, all for different occasions, because we just have to.

From a source Eco Age, it states that people only keep one piece of clothing for an average of 35 days. We buy when sales come, we throw them away when we don’t feel like we look good in them anymore. We have become a culture of negligence because we just focus on ourselves and fail to be observant towards the world around us. It is our home. How could we let a $7 dollar shirt blind us when there are trees cut down, fossil fuels used up, thousands of kilos of coals burnt and rivers being polluted? Is your future and the future of your children worth $7?

Don’t get me wrong. I love how our generation is starting to have self-appreciating campaigns that promote personal growth and empowering each other. I love how more and more of us are able to love ourselves without the need to get approval from others. I love that. But we are dangerously close to the line of being conceited.

It’s almost dark and twisted these days. Social media promotes loving yourself, looking “fine” and being empowering through make up and fashion but it is driving the younger generations to be all about representing themselves through these clothes. Brands are taking advantage of this and making it seem almost essential that we are only freely represented as unique individuals based on what we wear and the type of fashion we are into. Some brands take advantage of the youths’ need to belong to a community and make trends as a way to sell that chance. These trends come and go, so we become obsessed with getting them before they stop selling them.

This multi billion dollar industry might look picturesque but it is a messed up industry, with companies having different goals. Some brands still upkeep their love and drive to create fashion that is admirable and breathtaking, but there are others just waiting to leech off money from an ever growing industry. I could go into all the shady clothing factories and talk about thousands of poorly paid laborers and their poor working conditions but that’s pretty much intuitive and well known to many.

“Cheap” clothes does not give us the excuse to buy more at the expense of the future generations. Cheap clothes shouldn’t be bought at a cheap price, at the expense of another.

With this, I have decided to stop my compulsive shopping habits, and only restrict the shopping to special occasions. No more monthly changing closets, no more ending up having to donate heaps and piles of clothes. No more. I will not be a part of the ongoing murder of our planet. I may not be an activist in this field, but I will do what I can, though little, to save my planet.

Fashion can be still a truly beautiful industry. I still believe that fashion can do wonders for us, be it uniting people or making us well-represented individuals. We are able to do this, while taking care of our home. We don’t have to enjoy one for the expense of the other.

But hey it isn’t too late! Start donating your clothes and change your consumer habits. I’ll provide some links to start out but feel free to check out more online! (See: H&M RecyclingSalvation ArmyJunk To ClearNew2U)