Refugees, a matter of humanity


Protest in Vienna (2013). Photo: Haeferl (CC)

I was planning to write something about the refugee crisis in Europe when the heart-breaking story of Aylan Kurdi, found dead on a Turkish beach, caught the world’s attention. After that picture, nobody could turn a blind eye to the turmoil at Europe’s borders.

The child’s death shed light on a situation that is getting worse day after day. An impressive number of boats reach Italy, Greece and other territories daily, carrying thousands of people who are trying to flee war in their own countries. More than ever Europe is divided between reactionary speeches and movements of solidarity. In the middle of this, human beings without much (or any) perspective.

It’s impossible to feel indifferent when you see such a horrible scenery exposed in videos, pictures and articles that show anguish and desperation. I believe this drama commoves me even more because now I know how hard is to be a foreigner in Europe, with limited rights and away from your own place. Although, I can’t compare my situation to the chaos experienced by these people. In my case, I moved to Ireland last year to study. I went to live in Dublin to be part of an international environment, meet new friends, master my English and travel. However, the refugees are paying thousands of dollars to smugglers and risking their lives to escape from conflicts, brutality, destruction, all words that mean death at the end of the day. They pursue a chance to survive. I moved to Europe to gain some knowledge and have fun. The asylum seekers – those ones who manage not to die at sea – just want to live.

I am also very sympathetic to the refugees because, as me, they come from the called “Third World”, a part of the globe that still target as an “inferior” place. It’s 2015, but there’s still a lot of discrimination against us. Unfortunately, your passport and your face determines the kind of treatment that you will receive overseas. As someone who was born and grew up in Latin America, I consider peoples in Africa and Middle Eastern as victims as we were of a colonist system that stole not only our resources but our identities, cultures and importance as human beings. All our “Third World problems” need to be discussed with a look at our past. Many lives were and are lost in the countries that remain poor and we can’t forget it.

To sum up, inequality is the issue. Everybody should know that the situation would be different if the war wasn’t in Syria, but in a “developed” country. Then the action to seek asylum would be considered a right without questions, discussions or accusations, as it happened during the big Wars.

Fortunately, a good number of people launched initiatives to ameliorate the refugee’s conditions in Europe. It gives me some hope to know that many fellows have the sensibility to put themselves in refugee’s shoes. Eventually, the solidarity shows that humanity will beat economies and borders.

I do wish these people can find their own space, their “little refuge” to have some peace and happiness. All human beings deserve respect and a chance in life, not only those who own a passport issued in an “important” nation.

The end of boundaries and supremacies, this is my dream 🙂


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