Tuesday, June 20, 2006

World Refugee Day

According to msn.com, today was/is for another few hours World Refugee Day. As I browse through the associated link, I keep asking myself, "why does this exist?"

Not on an intellectual level, mind you, I get that a refugee is a displaced person seeking "refuge" from their homeland for whatever reason (usually persecution of some sort, often times famine). I ask myself on an emotional level. There's pictures of kids crying, tent cities, Albanian men jumping off deportation ships after being denied asylum... braving currents and bullets rather than being sent back... A Rwandans' mutilated faces framing the largest eyes I've ever seen, faces hardened by war, women setting laundry to dry on chicken wire encampments, pictures of children jumping rope - some being children, some having fun, some looking at them as if it's sacreligious... those I worry about. The children who grow up too fast.

They have a special place in my heart.

Elsalvadorian families taking refuge in cemetaries...

What kind of life did they have where the only course of action was to leave? What country would allow such a hardship to exist? What country still cares about its compatriots?

What happens to a person to make them leave the only home they've ever known and step into the unknown? Will a host country adopt them? Will they be sent back? What are the repurcussions of either action? The will of these people is strong.

In their eyes shine hope and fear, and yet, steel resolve.

God bless them.


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