MOON Shine | Others I have known

atomic-bomb-croppedOur greatest power as nations and individuals is not the ability to employ assault weapons, suicide bombers, and drones to destroy each other. The greater, more creative powers with which we may arm ourselves are grace and compassion sufficient enough to love and save each other.” – Aberjhani

Strange is our situation here on Earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men.– Albert Einstein, founder of International Rescue Committee

My family came to this country to take advantage of opportunity, not to take advantage of America.” – Jake Danishevsky

“If he were allowed contact with foreigners he would discover that they are creatures similar to himself and that most of what he has been told about them is lies. The sealed world in which he lives would be broken, and the fear, hatred, and self-righteousness on which his morale depends might evaporate. It is therefore realized on all sides that however often Persia, or Egypt, or Java, or Ceylon may change hands, the main frontiers must never be crossed by anything except bombs.” – George Orwell, 1984

The world has become too small for both an Us and a Them. We have no separate fates, but are bound together in one. And our fear of one another is the only thing capable of our undoing.” – Sam Killermann

“Martin Luther King used to say to me all the time, ‘You’ve got to love everybody.’ And I used to say, ‘No I don’t. I only have to love the people worth loving.’ And King would laugh and laugh and say, ‘Nope, you’ve got to love everybody.’” – Myles Horton

Our long legacy of American leadership in welcoming refugees sends an undeniable message that the United States remains a leading force for stability and liberty, that it upholds the principle of family reunification, that it extends protection to those who risk their lives to support our overseas efforts, and that Americans do not discriminate based on religion.” – Official statement of Refugee Council USA, January 27, 2017

“No one is ever really a stranger. We cling to the belief that we share nothing with certain people. It’s rubbish. We have almost everything in common with everyone.” – Mark Haddon

I do not know where I am going, where I have come from is disappearing, I am unwelcome and my beauty is not beauty here. My body is burning with the shame of not belonging, my body is longing. I am the sin of memory and the absence of memory. I watch the news and my mouth becomes a sink full of blood. The lines, the forms, the people at the desks, the calling cards, the immigration officers, the looks on the street, the cold settling deep into my bones, the English classes at night, the distance I am from home. But Alhamdulilah, all of this is better than the scent of a woman completely on fire, or a truckload of men, who look like my father, pulling out my teeth and nails, or fourteen men between my legs, or a gun, or a promise, or a lie, or his name, or his manhood in my mouth.” – Warsan Shire

“When Europeans arrived on this continent, they blew it with the Native Americans. They plowed over them, taking as much as they could of their land and valuables, and respecting almost nothing about the native cultures. They lost the wisdom of the indigenous peoples-wisdom about the land and connectedness to the great web of life…We have another chance with all these refugees. People come here penniless but not cultureless. They bring us gifts. We can synthesize the best of our traditions with the best of theirs. We can teach and learn from each other to produce a better America…” – Mary Pipher

Nobody can make you afraid of anything, unless you allow them. Nobody can tell you to do something wrong, unless you allow them. God never created you to be a slave, man did. God never created division or set up any borders between brothers, man did. God never told you hurt or kill another, man did. And in the end, when God asks you: ‘Who told you to kill one of my children?’

And you tell him, ‘My leader.’

He will then ask you, ‘And are THEY your GOD?’” – Suzy Kassem

“While my library contains the works of travel writers, I have mostly searched for those who speak about their own place in the world. But the world is changing and many people have no place to call home. Some of the most important kinds of travel writing now are stories of flight, written by people who belong to the millions of asylum seekers in the world. These are stories that are almost too hard to tell, but which, once read, will never be forgotten. Some of these stories had to be smuggled out of detention centres, or were caught covertly on smuggled mobiles in snatches of calls on weak connections from remote and distant prisons. Why is this writing important? Behrouz Boochani, a Kurdish journalist and human rights campaigner who has been detained on Manus Island for over three years with no hope for release yet in sight, puts it plainly in a message to the world in the anthology Behind the Wire. It is, he wrote, ‘because we need to change our imagination’.” – Alexis Wright

Our too-young and too-new America, lusty because it is lonely, aggressive because it is afraid, insists upon seeing the world in terms of good and bad, the holy and the evil, the high and the low, the white and the black; our America is frightened of fact, of history, of processes, of necessity. It hugs the easy way of damning those whom it cannot understand, of excluding those who look different, and it salves its conscience with a self-draped cloak of righteousness. Am I damning my native land? No; for I, too, share these faults of character! And I really do not think that America, adolescent and cocksure, a stranger to suffering and travail, an enemy of passion and sacrifice, is ready to probe into its most fundamental beliefs.” – Richard Wright

“Europe,” he says, “is frightened that an influx of foreigners will erode European values. But what values will there to be uphold if we abandon our duty to protect those less fortunate than ourselves? What incentive do we give to refugees to maintain the fabric of our society if that fabric is so ragged in the first place? If Europe is not able to show a better way of life to them, then they will think that their morality is better than ours.” – Patrick Kingsley

We think of agents, traffickers and facilitators as the worst abusers of refugees, but when they set out to extort from their clients, when they cheat them or dispatch them to their deaths, they are only enacting an entrepreneurial version of the disdain which refugees suffer at the hands of far more powerful enemies – those who terrorize them and those who are determined to keep them at arm’s length. Human traffickers are simply vectors of the contempt which exists at the two poles of the asylum seeker’s journey; they take their cue from the attitudes of warlords and dictators, on the one hand, and, on the other, of wealthy states whose citizens have learned to think of generosity as a vice.” – Jeremy Harding

“In our hearts we know that with a different fate, we, too, could be in the ranks of the dispossessed, stripped of our identities and belonging nowhere. The refugee becomes a sinister symbol of what can quickly happen once personhood is denied and people are transformed into disposable units of contemptible impediments to the greed or power-mongering of others.” – David Mearns

The joy of the Middle East has been replaced by fear, pervasive in Iraq and Syria and darkening the lives of people throughout the region. This is why refugees have been flowing out of the Middle East by the millions for Europe. If President Bush’s seeds of democracy or the Arab Spring had bloomed, these families wouldn’t be risking everything to leave. Many in the region have simply lost all hope, which is understandable. If you lived in Libya after the fall of Gadhafi, you’d be terrified. You can’t work, you can’t sell your goods, your children can’t go to school, you can’t even drive around without fear of being kidnapped by bandits or terrorists. It’s not a place where people can be happy and even marginally prosperous. It’s pure chaos. It’s worse in Iraq and Syria.” – Richard Engel

“For a start, people who traveled for so many miles through such horrific conditions in order to find work cannot accurately be portrayed as lazy benefit-scroungers.” – Patrick Kingsley

 

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