Tag Archives: refugees

“When I am grown up I want to be a refugee” or on “How stupid one can be”

After a few days of holidays with my family reality got me back yesterday. In the bus on the way to work. Some prefer their homely car, the fact to listen to their music, having food and drinks and their stuff around. I very much enjoy to share the bus ride with other people, getting into conversations with others, share a smile. It makes the ride and life in general more fun, yesterday was an exception.

I tried to read the news but two ladies sitting across the aisle from me caught my full attention. To the point that I was close to interfere…

Now, one needs to know that with the refugee crisis our country has been pretty spared with voluntary arrivals of refugees. For some reason we are not on the favorite countries’ list of these people running away from war, violence and destruction. But now we need to show solidarity with all the other countries who already welcomed their share of refugees.

And here were these two mid-forties ladies, one of them with a ring on each of her fingers, talking about the refugees that will be arriving in their little town:
“First they said it was only families”, “Now it will be only single men”, “They did not even tell us”, “My daughter does already not dare to go out anymore” (the refugees are not here yet), “I love to go walking along the river, I will be scared from now onwards”, “They get free housing” (they will be lodged in the civil protection shelter in the basement of a school), “It is not fair that we have to welcome and feed them” and I kept the top one for the end “When I grow up, I want to be a refugee”.

I swear I did not invent that, I heard this with my own ears.

Now I agree that the refugee question is a difficult one. With the current economic situation everywhere, the unemployment getting higher, the fear of terrorism and the natural human reaction to protect what is his and the fear of the unknown, I can understand a certain hesitation when it comes to welcoming a crowd of people and all the issues that go with it. It is not an easy task.

But be serious, if people who live in a country where
– their opinion is asked through voting every three months
– the buses and trains are almost always on time
– the paying newspapers are in unsecured boxes counting on the honesty of people to put their coins
– the streets are smooth without any potholes
– the cars stop as soon as a pedestrian approaches a crossing
– you can drink the water directly from the tap
– …
cannot be a minimum generous and understanding, then who can?

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Wishing you all a healthy, safe and open-minded 2016 filled with love and memorable moments!

African Tour

One of the best French song writers when it comes up to lyrics with meanings. Francis Cabrel sings about the tough reality of African refugees heading for Europe. We, who can stay in our country or who can  travel freely can obviously not entirely seize the tragedy of what they have to go through. But we can show some understanding and compassion when we are confronted with their destinies.

Already our villages are moving away
A few  ghosts  keep me company
There will be deserts, mountains
To be crossed until Spain
And after… Inch’allah

We have bad shoes
The money sewn into our linings
The people smugglers must be waiting for us
The little we have they will take
And after…

Is Europe well guarded?
I don’t know
Are custom officers armed?
We will see
If they tell me, everyone its own home
I quite agree, except that in my home
Except that in mine there is nothing

No living room, no kitchen,
The kids chew on roots
Just a square of dust
A mattress thrown onto the ground
Above…Inch’allah

Maybe you imagine
That I made all these kilometers
All this hope, all this courage
To stop against a fence

Is Europe well guarded?
I don’t know
Will custom officers shoot?
We will see
If they tell me, everyone its own home
I quite agree, except that in my home
Except that in mine there is nothing

I don’t know
We will see,
I quite agree,
Except that in my home…

Half a scaffolding
I don’t ask for more
A nothing, a word, a gesture
Give me anything that you have left
And after…
I don’t know

We will see,
Me, I quite agree,
Except that in my home…
Already our villages moving away

Freely translated by Cloud

Do you want to know more about Francis Cabrel:
Francis Cabrel – Official Site
Francis Cabrel – Wikipedia