This isn’t just your home: It’s all of ours

By on September 24, 2015
opinion

Europe is seeing a large surge of migration as refugees—torn between hostility and peace—flee from war and oppression to more economically developed and safer countries. Primarily from Syria, these refugees had high hopes of being welcomed with open arms, but most countries are accepting only a small number. Some have even closed their doors completely.

Germany is taking in the most refugees in the EU—around 800,000— while the rest of Europe is refusing to take any more than 20,000.

This influx of refugees puts stress on the anti-refugee laws in most wealthy European countries, which were established to prevent situations like this to spill into their country. These laws prevent xenophobes from having to deal with people that are “different.”

It’s wrong and xenophobic to say your culture is better and more developed than another’s, and you don’t want that culture to take over your culture. It’s ridiculous.

A human is a human, and humans should be willing to take care of other humans that are in need, especially in the refugee crisis we’re facing today. Most of these human beings are skilled, educated and are ready to work and give to the society that will take them in. All they need is a safe place to call home.

“It’s shameful to think most European countries are refusing to help those poor people,” said anthropology major Ethan Byrne. “They need a reality check. What if it were them in that situation? I’d bet they’d feel very different.”

He’s not wrong. It’s all fun and games when you’re in the position to make laws, but it is completely different on the other side. Understandably, having the fear of risking your nationality to foreigners have led to these faulty anti-refugee laws, which are questioned in these dire situations.

Europe’s politicians need to put themselves in the refugees’ shoes and recognize the world isn’t so perfect, but it’s hard to burst the bubble around more affluent countries.

U of L student Ashkan Rezai has refugee family members in Turkey. With much sorrow in his voice, he recited the following poem:

“Human beings are members of a whole, in creation of one essence and soul. If one is afflicted with pain, other members uneasy will remain. If you have no sympathy for human pain, the name of human you cannot retain.”

It’s easy to overlook the needs of others when situations like these are happening in the present, but it’s easier to look back and say you could have done something more when you didn’t.

Donate and give whatever you can spare to these people; they need it more than you. It’s important to recognize the world can feel smaller and restricted when you erect borders to keep each other out.

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