Comment: This opinion piece on the New York Times is dedicated to those politicians in Finland and Europe who believe that Somalian asylum seekers are so-called “welfare shoppers.” Apart from a long list of Perussuomalaiset (PS) party members, Social Democrat MP Kari Rajamäki could learn a thing or two by reading the opinion piece by the Somalian musician and politician.
“At 12 years old, I lost three of the boys I grew up with in one burst of machine-gun fire — one pull from the misinformed finger of a boy probably not much older than we were,” he writes. “But I was also unusually lucky. The bullets hit everyone but me.”
K’naan was one of the lucky ones to leave Somalia two decades ago. He returned back to his former country and wrote about some impressions it gave him. He was returning to where he was once from: “For miles along that coast, all you see are paint-like blue water, beautiful sand dunes eroding, and an abandoned effort to cap them with concrete. Everything about Somalia feels like abandonment. The buildings, the peace initiatives, the hopes and dreams of greatness for a nation.”
And continues: ” The final and most devastating stop for me was Banadir Hospital, where I was born. The doctors are like hostages of hopelessness, surrounded and outnumbered. Mothers hum lullabies holding the skeletal heads of their children. It seems eyes are the only ornament left of their beautiful faces; eyes like lanterns holding out a glimmer of faint hope. Volunteers are doing jobs they aren’t qualified for. The wards are over-crowded, mixing gun wound, malnutrition and cholera patients. “
If the scenes in Somalia are harrowing, equally disturbing is the indifference in Europe to the suffering in that country and to those that flee the horror.
Thank you Ronni for the heads up!
One has to be careful about stories. Especially true ones. When a story is told the first time, it can find a place in the listener’s heart. If the same story is told over and over, it becomes less like a presence in that chest and more like an X-ray of it.