“Huddled Masses (with Smartphones) Yearning to be Free.”

So we are not talking about the good old days when European immigrants crossed the Atlantic to start a new life in the United States.  Today’s migrants from the Middle East (predominantly Syrian) are going overland through the Balkans hoping to arrive safely in Hungary, their gateway for other destinations in Europe.   Thanks to their GPS-equipped smartphones they are also able to avoid the expense of paying traffickers who have traditionally provided that such “travel”services for a fee.  And then there is Facebook.

This renowned global social networking site has now become host to such groups as “Smuggling Yourself to Europe Withoit a Trafficker” and providing analytics reports on safe water distribution centers in Aleppo as well as real-time accounts of mortar rounds falling on Damascus.  This is not your grandmother’s Facebook (if she is using social media).  This is about real time, real war and real tragedy in a war-torn part of the world.

Tragically, many people have lost everything, but those fortunate enough to possess a smartphone can still cling to memories of their past.  One man lost his wife, but still had her photographs on his smartphone.

Ray Myers


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