Loading presentation...

Present Remotely

Send the link below via email or IM


Present to your audience

Start remote presentation

  • Invited audience members will follow you as you navigate and present
  • People invited to a presentation do not need a Prezi account
  • This link expires 10 minutes after you close the presentation
  • A maximum of 30 users can follow your presentation
  • Learn more about this feature in our knowledge base article

Do you really want to delete this prezi?

Neither you, nor the coeditors you shared it with will be able to recover it again.


Left-over Toys: The Lethal Legacy of World War II

The millions of land-mines left over by nations such as Britain, Germany and Italy are now a major safety hazard to the inhabitants of the North-west coast of Egypt.

Sherry Winchester

on 18 April 2010

Comments (0)

Please log in to add your comment.

Report abuse

Transcript of Left-over Toys: The Lethal Legacy of World War II

Left-over Toys: The Lethal Legacy of WWII Often after a child plays a game, they leave their toys scattered precariously across the floor of the room and dash off in pursuit of another endeavor. During the Second World War, the Allied and Axis powers planted dozens of millions of landmines across North Africa, particularly concentrated in northwestern Egypt. She is one of many. Hundreds of families have been affected both economically and psychologically by the remaining explosives without compensation. The indisputable fact that makes this situation exponentially worse is that all this can be avoided... Although the matter pales in comparison to the lives lost and destroyed by the weapons, researchers at Stanford now estimate that there are 4.8 billion barrels of oil in northwestern Egypt, none of which can be accessed due to the presence of unexploded landmines. That is a question I cannot answer. Need I remind you who planted the mines in the first place? It might as well be the children that forgot to put them away after their game was over. The game has now been over for decades. Unfortunately, there is no responsible mother to chastise the unruly governments for failing to clean up their room. They are anti-tank mines, Britain, Germany and Italy are the players. The game is World War II, and the toys? In today’s world, the Egyptian desert is the playroom. In most cases, an attentive mother would firmly remind their child to clean up after themselves and therefore eliminate the potential that an unaware family member trips over a stray Lego block or misplaced doll. The remnants of their amusement then transform into safety hazards. anti-personnel mines and unexploded artillery shells. The BBC estimates that over 8,000 have been brutally killed by the left over mines since the end of the war and thousands more have lost their limbs or been blinded. Due to the constantly shifting desert winds, there are no reliable maps of minefields, leaving innocent Bedouins helpless against the deadly devices. 22 million unexploded ordnances still remain today in Egypt alone, making it one of the most heavily mined countries in the world. Two years ago, eleven year-old Mawa was grazing the family animals when she kicked what she thought was a tin can. The seemingly harmless can detonated before she had the chance to realize what had just happened. As a result she lost one of her legs and was a horribly disfigured. She can no longer walk the distance of five miles to school every morning. She can no longer step outside of the house without receiving horrified stares. She can no longer run across the fields or play with the other children. In effect, she has lost her right to education, freedom and a childhood because of governments’ negligence. Furthermore, the coastline along the north-western region of Egypt is considered one of the most beautiful in the world and has a huge potential for tourism – that is, if you choose to disregard the millions of explosive devices littering the ground. The remainder of the region is suitable for growing crops such as barley and vegetables and could be used for agricultural purposes if the land mines are removed. This would allow for approximately 1.5 million people to be moved from the heavily overpopulated Nile valley to the northwest where countless job opportunities would be available for farmers. “The Northwest coast has great development potential; the area is one of the greatest promises for Egypt. But the mines deny access to a landmass off approximately 22 percent of the national territory”, states Fathy El-Shazly, the national project director for mine clearance at the Ministry of International Cooperation. It seems that all facts and all conditions point to one very basic, apparently obvious question: why, then, does the Egyptian government not simply clear up the mines? The cost of clearing the remaining mines is 250 million dollars, and that is without the amount of money needed to provide compensation to the victims. Such a price-tag is clearly beyond the capacity of the Egyptian government. It is not, however, beyond the capacity of the governments of Britain, Italy and Germany. So why don’t they remove the mines themselves? Increasing awareness of this appalling situation and educating the Bedouins inhabiting the region in question are both components of wiping out the lethal legacy of the latest world war. Ignorance, as shown by the thousands of victims of ordnance detonation, can be deadly. Nevertheless, somebody needs to come by and clean up the leftover toys. By Shirin Salehi
Full transcript