Years ago I read a short story predicting the future by a Thai writer. The story about the Bangkokians living under an air-condition dome by 2040 is all fascinating and make a lot of sense. The people go to a vending machine to buy fresh natural air (in cans) and pills instead of an actual meal and all. But then the writer wrote something about humanitarian crisis which I found dulled and quite unwitted to talk about when you talk about what will happen in the futuristic world.
The photograph of a young Syrian refugee that shakes the world and powerfully emphasized the refugee crisis in the Mediterranean spread like wildfire through social media. Seeing the photograph of a three-year-old Aylan Kurdi, taken by a journalist photographer Nilufer Demir, I asked myself, ‘If I think this humanitarian crisis is dulled and unwitted, why am I crying when I see this photo?’
This is what attach to a real-life futuristic story. There are countless start-ups, with the make-the-world-a-better-place idea, getting funded, while more than 2,500 people have died trying to cross the Mediterranean so far in 2015. Asylum seekers and refugees are the guy who makes sandwich in the early internet era. They’re fleeing from the devastating state the result of the intense fighting between the Islamic State (IS) and Kurdish militias in Syria that has set hundreds of thousands people on foot to find stability in the peaceful territory. Europe.
Dead refugee children may be mourned by most people but when their unyielding feet finally touched the sweet, temperate grains of sand on the European shore, they are loathed. They knew their journey didn’t finish there. Lots of refugees took matter into their own hands and rough their family—men, women and children—on the street. This is like what would happen in a Khaled Hosseini novel.
Among the torrent of news circulates all over social media has prompted us about how we should think about the refugees. I noticed the absence of one thing. Do we have an article about a refugee young boy who made it to a safe place? I can give you an example for an article nobody would read. It’s the one that headlined, ‘[Insert a Turkish name] Who Would Have Been Aylan Kurdi Is Now Safe And Alive In Canada!’ One live matters. Do we care about those people, or we are just sadists looking for grievances and unapologetic bullshits from our governments?
It’s also because of the fact that most of the Muslim countries are ruthlessly butchering non-Muslims. They’re even butchering each other. If, for example, Hungary, or any other country in the EU, suffers or in a crisis, and having many refugees with no home, food. The Muslim countries will never take them in because they have a different religion with them. The woeful belief that has damaged not only the security and stability of their countries but trust from other countries as well.
The thought, obviously, was uncalled for. But it’s one of the most vital thoughts that illustrates us on how we should treat the refugees. Whether we should act all childish—you don’t give it to me, I don’t give it to you—or it’s time to overcome the intuitive arbitrary fears and forgive the crime they haven’t yet commit (but would commit in other scenario) and change the way they understand about humanity. To some, they would think it is naïve and that we’re marching toward the unpredictable outcomes.
There’s an old cautionary tale in Thailand about a rice farmer who found an injured cobra on his way back from work. He fed it with rodents and cured it. But the animal couldn’t overcome its primal instinct. The cobra attacked the farmer and injected the poison that could kill twenty men by one little drop of toxic. The farmer mourned, in the very last moment of his life, that he should not think he could befriend with such beast.
From the image of a girl seen running naked on a street in Vietnam during the war in 1972 to the picture of the drowned toddler that shows the significant horror of the situation is changing the way you think about the ongoing situation. You would think you are doing something good allowing or urging the government to let them in by basing immigration policy on how sad a photo makes us is dangerous. The old tale tells the truth.
A kind act by Germany by admitting 800,000 refugees this year is a remarkable turnaround for its country, given the terrors of the Nazis with xenophobia in Europe only 70 years ago.
The picture of the boy emerged and it has started street protests and has them believing that they’re doing something good by demanding government to accept refugees into their home country.
“You could only drive yourself crazy with grief if you look at the millions of people in danger.” British Columbia Prime Minister Stephan Harper said. So how should we handle with this humanitarian crisis with wholehearted support and humility?
Here come the Egyptian billionaire who has an outside the box solution to the crisis. Naguib Sawiris, the chief exe of a mobile phone operator in the Middle East and Africa, he would purchase an independence island in the Mediterranean to home the refugees, provide them with jobs and ultimately for becoming a foundation of a new community or even a new country.
A crusade to give refugee asylum is a bandage solution to a much larger problem. But to give them [Syrian] a new land to begin their new pioneering chapter without the permission to foster their own beliefs is the only way to make sure it’s not going back to square one because, I think, only utopians can create utopia.
This almost feels like a movie plot, but I personally think it is a rational idea. You can grant the refugees asylum but as long as the chaos still going on, the number of the refugees can only continue to grow, exceedingly.
In the end I saw the news and I asked myself, “Would I accept a refugee family in my home?” The answer is yes. If they’re needing and all desperate. If they actually knock on my front door on a stormy night asking for shelter for the family. I wouldn’t hesitate to let them in. But, it won’t be, for a little while yet, that I would welcome them with open arms.
I tweet and retweet about human rights and the world’s major events. Follow me on Twitter @nathapongsam