We read it in the papers. We see it in the News’ bulletins. Thousands and thousands of people are trudging across foreign lands and defying the dangers of the seas, to escape from Syria and its neighbours. All in the hope of finding peace and security in Europe.
Some countries have welcomed them. Others have rejected them on the grounds of their vast numbers. But wherever they settle they will alter the future of that place. New ideas will be introduced. Young people will mix and make homes together and raise children of mixed nationalities.
As I think back to my own childhood I can just remember the Second World War and all the problems and hardships it produced. I heard of the Kinder trains that brought Jewish children from Germany to this country and the families who welcomed them. One good-looking boy joined my class at junior school.
But I really do remember the Jewish business men and their families who settled in the Bishop Auckland area. These people needed unlevened bread which a family bakery produced.
As the years went by and the war ended they opened shops and factories that provided work for the area. A new estate of beautiful houses was built in our part of the town to accommodate the key men from these businesses. It was always referred to as Jerusalem.
Over the years these incomers changed the whole area and brought prosperity to the town as the Syrians may well do to their adopted countries. We wish them well.