Refugees encounter a foreign word: Welcome

canada canoe.jpgWho wants to migrate to Canada? Hop on a canoe with prime minister Justin Trudeau. Photograph: Sean Kilpatrick/AP

I shed tears while reading the article below, so touched I was by the hand of friendship that ordinary Canadians have stretched towards Syrian families in need. It made me long for home. I have nothing positive to say about Paris right now. I want to pull out of this unsafe country and return to Canada, my homeland. Why unsafe? Because as I wrote in a 2015 post entitled Blowback (following the November 2015 Paris terror attacks that killed 130 and wounded hundreds), “It is our own governments that make our countries unsafe.” If you don’t understand this, then you’re naïve. (I used to be naïve, now I’m just cynical.) France today is a nation of police, SWAT teams, machine-gun wielding soldiers, cameras, and security guards. Every single morning as I enter the office tower where I work, I must open my bags to security guards. (If it’s not terrorism that kills Parisians, it’ll be air pollution; it’s horrendous here. I’m about to spend 265 euros on a Rowenta air purifier for my apartment.)

Here’s just one example of a government putting its citizens in danger – two days ago Istanbul’s Ataturk airport was the target of a terrorist attack. 41 people dead and 239 wounded. Turkish president Erdogan said the attack showed “the dark face of terror that targets innocent civilians.” And what of Erdogan’s dark face? It’s no secret that Erdogan has been directly aiding ISIS for years. Under the complicit eyes of Washington and other NATO countries, volumes of documented evidence show Turkish collaboration with ISIS.

Here’s the headline from this week’s Foreign Policy magazine – BLAME ERDOGAN FOR THE ISTANBUL AIRPORT ATTACK – A cynical strategy of supporting Islamists and playing enemies off one another has put his own nation’s security at risk.

4 thoughts on “Refugees encounter a foreign word: Welcome

  1. The NYT article is really wonderful. One hears of small communities sponsoring families but ours hasn’t thus far. We sent money to the UNHCR and keep hoping there will be an opportunity to help out in other ways. It’s something solid and positive in a world increasingly unfathomable to me. Your story about your friend’s son — how could schools tolerate such treatment of a child, any child? So many stories, and behind them, families, individuals, people who wouldn’t leave homes and communities that were safe and sustainable. Our poor planet — all its promise and possibilities, and so much waste, violence, despair…

  2. Bravo, Juliet. I have visited Canada on my occasions; it’s a beautiful country. I can understand your longing to return.

  3. Very depressing but unfortunately this is the reality of the state of the world today…not to mention the past. If anyone has the solution to world peace, I’d like to know.

  4. “What is their crime?” indeed. These are war victims caught in the crossfire of someone else’s war, more often than not wars financed and initiated by Western powers. Their houses and villages crushed, what are they supposed to do? How people can remain indifferent to their tragedy is beyond my comprehension.

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