Take refuge

Rumour has it that our world’s industrialised countries have perhaps not been under so much pressure to take action on confronting the ever growing dilemma of refugees as they are today.

Back in the day there were waves of people attempting to flee Southeast Asia after the Vietnam War. Nowadays, we’re facing thousands of people trying to cross the Mediterranean in search of a breath of hope as a repercussion of the war in Syria.

Indeed, we’re talking about refugees and what is being referred to as the worst global refugee crisis in decades.

We’re all accountable for sharing the burden of helping our neighbour, of taking people in and lending a hand; yet the calls for industrialised countries to shelter some 130,000 Syrian refugees seems to be falling on deaf ears, and if not, processes to make any effort in that direction seem to be near impossible, not because of the technicalities of hosting ‘more’ people within a country but because of fear that terrorists may sneak in along with the refugees.
Is there then a correlation with the identity of these displaced people? I have to wonder if there would be a different approach, should we be referring to, let’s say, Belgian refugees?

Having just returned from Istanbul I might be biased as to what it really is to face the identities and future of peoples who admittedly come from an entirely different world than ours. There, the obvious coming together of east and west proves that there is a way of living in unity, with the more fortunate, and the less, without assuming that there is any place in the world that doesn’t have its issues.

Alarm bells are ringing. The 50 or so children that died on a boat that capsised off Libya on Sunday is another indication of this and also proves that matters are getting worse. I have this eerie feeling that the borders we’re creating around our ‘industrialised’ nations are precisely ‘industrial’.

If I really belong to a factory of bureaucrats who can’t find a balance between being human and taking care of their own at the same time, then the factory I belong to should perhaps be classed as a new, upcoming camp of refugees; a camp of refugees who will flee the establishment and seek another utopia.

*** Published in the Cyprus Weekly

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