We’re all human

Emily Lorenz, Staff Writer

The Middle East has had problems for what seems like an eternity now. Ever since I was born they’ve had problems that they, nor the world as a whole, can fix. The people there have to go everyday with the worry of “will I be killed today?”

European countries made room for immigrants when immigration from the Middle East first started to happen a few months ago, but then decided that they couldn’t take in any more people. There were, and still are thousands of people fleeing their home countries trying to get to safety, but they are being turned away from the golden land of opportunities that they gave up everything for.

How could these countries do this? From my perspective, I can see how overcrowding becomes a problem and there aren’t enough resources to go around. I understand that even these well established first world countries can’t care for a sudden rush of millions of additional people.

A story that shocked me was one on 4-year-old Zain al-Abideen Majid, a syrian refugee that the New York Times told the story of in late October. Being so young in a country like Syria where all he’s ever known is conflict with no resolution made me think of all the other refugees trying to find a place to call home, while their homes are being destroyed.

He is four, yet he has traveled through many countries through the night with his entire family while they try to find a new place to live, away from all of the fighting in their home country. Over a two month time frame, they traveled through eight countries trying to get to their end destination in Sweden. They went through hard times, like being stranded in a train station with no idea how they were going to get where they were going.

As someone who has lived in the US her entire life, I have never had to worry about that. I never have to worry about my family members being killed due to small infractions such as having a short beard or having a child in my family kidnapped due to a distant relative’s mistake. I also never have to worry about my school being demolished all because of religious conflicts or being bombed as a warning sign for all of the people in my town so that they’ll behave.

Many of the citizens of the Middle Eastern countries, such as Libya, Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, have put up with these fears for too long. They are starting to immigrate to European countries, giving up literally everything they have just so they can have the peace of mind of knowing they won’t be killed that day.

They travel through the Mediterranean sea in inflatable boats with so many people on them that it’s a surprise they don’t sink. All of the people on these rafts are seeking asylum in European countries, mainly landing on Greece and Italy’s shores.

But these are human beings asking for help. They aren’t asking for anything major like a new house, car and great job; they’re asking for some of their peace of mind back. They’re asking for a safe place for them and their children to be and where they won’t get killed because of their beliefs.

From the viewpoint of the immigrant, if a country closed its doors on me when i desperately needed help, I would feel stranded. I would lose hope and feel like there was nowhere I could turn. From their point of view, they gave up everything to be where they are and they won’t even open the door for them.

I think that yes, countries should be able to say no, but they should also offer a solution to the problem. Instead of just closing their borders, the countries officials should say to the scared people looking for new beginning and tell them who is open and offer a way to get there.

I think instead of turning away millions of people in desperate need of help, the UN as a whole should set up some type of funds so that they can have hostels, food and their sanity back. They don’t have to be five star hostels, just a place where they can sleep and stay warm with their families.

This brings up the questions of where would all of this money come from, but I think that many countries would try their best to donate as much as they can, even if it’s food or blankets. Then, gradually, these countries can grant citizenship to all of the immigrants who sought help. They don’t have to do every single one at once, but steadily so that their countries can adapt food and shelter wise.

We are all different countries with different values, languages and ways of life, but in the end we’re all human. Being human means having to ask for help every once in awhile and we should all be more than willing to help, even if it’s only by offering a new solution.