My perspective on the situation is unique. I’m a Greek-Americna who had the privilege of going to Lesbos over the summer. My friend, Eva Almeshal, offers a different perspective. With the world as crazy as it is right now, it is important to hear other perspectives and other opinions. Eva has moved back and forth from the US to Kuwait, and I am so thankful for her willingness to contribute and for her kind heart. Eva consistently raises awareness about the issue and has recently started a campaign called “#paint4peace”. Please follow her movement on Instagram!
1)Where are you from/what is your cultural background?
2)Do you view the refugee crisis as a Greek crisis, European or World crisis?
3) How has the crisis affected you?
4) What do you think caused the crisis?
5) In a perfect world, what could be done?
6)Who do you think should take the lead in the crisis?
7) Should the US get involved?
1) I was born in the U.S., and then spent the first part of my life in Kuwait, where my dad and his family are from. Since as far back as I can remember, my life has been “half and half” – spent back and forth between living in the U.S. and living in Kuwait. The majority of my time has been spent living in the U.S., though.
2) The refugee crisis is very much a world crisis, in my opinion – aside from any political reasons, I believe that anything that affects a portion of humanity ultimately affects us all as a whole. We are living on this planet as one race – humans. I don’t believe we can ever truly be free until we are all free, collectively.
3) The crisis has mostly affected me emotionally and energetically, which is, of course, not even worth mentioning in comparison to how it has affected the millions of refugees who experience unimaginable suffering on a daily basis. However, on a lighter note – it has also affected me by inspiring me to be a better human, to BE the change I wish to see in the world, and by spreading awareness of this dire situation to others who may not be as educated (or perhaps completely ignorant) on the subject.
4) (I could probably write an entire book to answer this question…ha! So I’ll try to summarize to the best of my ability) The crisis can be traced back to political, economic, social, and even environmental reasons – however, the driving force behind all of these is, of course, political. Make no mistake – this crisis did not develop overnight, nor did it happen by accident. Leaders who have been involved in decisions of foreign relations/affairs have always been fully aware of the catastrophic outcomes that would inevitably ensue. I believe that in order to pinpoint the root of this crisis, one would have to delve deep into history – specifically, the history of imperialistic nations who have continuously gained more traction and momentum in their pursuit of power. I know that may seem like it’s taking it too far back – but I don’t think one would be able to just say, “well this crisis happened because of x” – that “x” has a history as well, and as you explore that history, you find yourself “falling down the rabbit hole”, so to speak, of imperialist agendas (which are all intricately tied to organizations including, but not limited to, the IMF, World Bank, and the Council on Foreign Relations). There is a very precisely-designed method to the madness the world is currently facing and experiencing – and in order to fully explain that, a dissertation would likely be needed. The shortest answer I can give is simply that the world’s political systems are fundamentally and structurally designed to oppress the people – whether directly or indirectly.
5) In a perfect world, world leaders would not be interested in the accumulation of power, but rather, creating a foundation upon which humanity would able to effectively sustain and maintain peaceful, inter-dependent relationships with each other and with the planet. In a perfect world, there would be a fair distribution of wealth, education, and essential life resources. In a perfect world, this crisis would never have existed in the first place. In a perfect world, all people would love and live peacefully and collectively.
6) The lead should be taken by countries with the economic, social, and humanitarian resources needed to alleviate this crisis. Sadly, those countries are the ones taking the least amount of action and accepting the least number of refugees – which makes sense, considering that the majority of those countries are the reasons behind why this crisis exists and continues to get worse. It has been mostly poor, overpopulated countries who have taken the lead – some by choice, others by force.
7) Unfortunately, I have a very cynical perspective when it comes to U.S. involvement in anything whatsoever. Historically speaking, it seems that the U.S. has the opposite effect of the “Midas touch” – where everything we touch seems to disintegrate or get destroyed on some level. Perhaps, in a very small number of instances, this has been an unintended consequence – but historical facts will prove that we have very clear, outlined intentions in our actions and involvement regarding foreign affairs. The U.S. has already been heavily involved in the creation of this crisis in a myriad of ways – but most notably, by funding and training “terrorist” groups in an effort to “fight terrorism” (if that sounds incredibly counterproductive, that’s because it is, and only serves to further their own agenda). This propaganda-fueled “war on terror” has been the basis for many of our covert and publicized military actions, which has only worsened the current crisis.
A picture from the paint4peace instagram account.