The Refugee Dilemma
Refugees or migrants? Is this the question to ask today when we have become silent perpetrators of a crime against humanity?! Does it make us content with our own ignorance and unwillingness to go deep into the roots of the problem? Lost in our daily struggles, we will soon forget the grave dimensions of the crisis, closing any discussion on the topic as we end a chapter of an uninteresting book. The apathy imprinted in the faces of some individuals emerges as a guiding principle to elaborate on their perceptions of refugees. The latter had fallen victims not only of human traffickers but also of their own desire for a better life.
Feelings across Europe, especially in the post-communist societies of the countries of the Eastern bloc, are mixed. I often hear the opinion that the Syrian refugees are not welcomed in those countries. Some even reach extremes using stereotypes and labeling, which is the direct tool of media propaganda. We fail to realize how that same media put chains in our lives-so long and unbearable that we can hardly differentiate truth from illusion. Different names have circulated in the global news space as a result of the worsening crisis related to the greatest flow of people Europe has witnessed since the Second World War.
Yet answering the initial question seems grotesque in light of the suffering refugees endure. Death toll is high, voices are numb. Journalists are busy with presenting mere statistics dominated by black numbers no one wants to know about. Ordinary people have concerns for their own safety. It is a normal expectation since it is linked with their instinct of survival. Is it normal to lack the ability of showing empathy and care especially to the miserable fate of refugees’ children? Children reflect our future but whose children are those-American and European children? Obviously these are not Middle Eastern children-the future is black for them…
The Mediterranean migrant fatalities go beyond the shocking number of 2,500. Those are easily forgotten people. What a reality, what a life, and what aspirations can we have in this world of self-destruction? I heard some individuals saying people from that part of the world are primitive. Those who wave the flag of stupidity stop, turn around and think, if you can, who gives you the right to put such labels on people. Your hatred, well-disguised under your warm clothes and bulletproof car, will soon fade away when you turn into dust-the beginning of all beginnings, something awaiting everyone on this earth.
Obsessed with the mania of different terrorism classifications and fear for your lives, you forget simple truths as the one not to generalize an entire population under the same category. As a beginning, get rid of any grudges and misconceptions you have for Islam. You cannot hate something you do not know. You should either get into the roots of the issue; remain neutral or at least sympathetic. Do not fill your heart with arrogance as this will lead you nowhere. Who are you to say those people, irrespective of the way they are classified, cannot live in Europe? The narrow-minded thinking that Europe belongs to the Europeans is nothing but a distilled form of racism. But it seems hard to show your cosmopolitan spirit and proudly affirm you are a citizen of the world.
Refugees seem forgotten by Europe and all those multinational companies which do not fulfill their social responsibility to contribute to those people’s welfare. I see immense misery, hunger, endless walking that would possibly lead to the crash of refugees’ vision of a good life. They are frequently blamed for being economic immigrants. Even if this is the case, I do not see a problem about it. People should research about the positive effects of economic immigration on the development of a particular country. Others raise their concern about the growing threat of terrorism. I believe different European states should tackle this problem with better monitoring and surveillance mechanisms enforced locally.
A solution to the European migrant crisis seems like a mirage in the desert. The winter veil of freezing cold will soon paralyze refugees’ flight for a life to which they are entitled. However, the winter in human hearts is worse than outside cold. The frozen, hypocrite face of Europe reigns over the destinies of thousands of people who expect nothing but recognition of the fact they are human beings just like me and you…