In the advent of the recent Syrian Refugee Crisis, I always thought I had to have thoughts to think and some words to write.
Does it affect one who is not a refugee? How does it affect one who is not a refugee? What does it mean for one who is not a refugee?
A refugee, according to the Geneva Convention on Refugees is a person who is outside their country of citizenship because they have well-founded grounds for fear of persecution because of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, and is unable to obtain sanctuary from their home country or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail themselves of the protection of that country.
An insight on where one stands, so one sees.
Based on that definition of a refugee, I wouldn’t go to the extremes and refer to my paternal grandfather and paternal great grandfather as refugees. Though their reason for moving here is also because of the dire situation in China at that time, the height of Mao’s Communist Regime. It could be that they became two of the millions who rode the wave of that time’s Chinese diaspora. Merely a migrant seeking for greener pastures.
The matter on refugees should be one which we should be made aware of and made to understand.
We see pictures of refugees washed ashore, or floating on open seas… dangerously waiting for land to greet them. We get affected by them, to a certain extent. But what can we do? When we live a million miles away and we have our own concerns of stupid politics that run havoc in our brains? But what can we do? When we don’t even work for the UN, let alone someone of authority or influence whose opinion matters in international politics?
Why does it even matter?
Kofi Annan was the UN Secretary General before Ban Ki-Moon. He was born into one of the country’s Ashanti and Fante aristocratic families. He attended an elite boarding school in Cape Coast founded in the 1870s and has said that the school taught him “that suffering anywhere concerns people everywhere”.
Yes, why does it even matter?
And these words I learned from Sr. Fids… Where one stands, so one sees. Why limit yourself from one viewpoint when you know you are capable of seeing it from another’s perspective, although with less accuracy.