As the refugee crisis over refugees from Syria attempting to enter countries across Europe begins to reach a boiling point, questions have being asked over why the Syrians are not heading to the wealthy Gulf states located close to their home.
Although for many years those that have fled the crisis in Syria have crossed in Turkey, Jordan or Lebanon in large numbers, entering other Arab nations, especially Gulf states is much less straightforward.
Syrians officially are able to apply for a work permit or tourist visa to enter one of the Gulf States.
However, the process has become costly and there is a perception that is now widespread that many states in the Gulf have restrictions that might be unwritten but nevertheless in place that make it very hard for a Syrian to be give a visa.
Most cases that are successful are Syrians whom are already in Gulf States that are extending a stay or those who are entering due to have family that are already there.
For those that have limited means, there is the physical distance between the Gulf and Syria.
Without the visa, Syrians cannot enter Gulf Arab countries except for Mauritania, Algeria, Yemen and Sudan.
The relative proximity and wealth to Syria of the states led to many, in both social as well as traditional, media also questions if these states have more duty to open their borders than does Europe towards the Syrians who have been suffering four years of war and the radical militant jihadist groups that have emerged.
Over the past week, the hashtag #Welcoming Syria’s refugees in a duty of the Gulf has been used over 33,000 times on Twitter.
Powerful images have been posted by users to illustrate the Syrian refugees’ plight with photos of people that have drowned at seas, children being carried across barbed wire and families sleeping without shelter.