Until when?

Little Ailan was one of the many little migrants who paid with their life the hunt for a better life. The worldwide public opinion was watching in 2015 the drowned child with sadness, claimed to be shocked, enraged with the politics pushing millions of people to uprooting and for a while the image haunted our reality…

It has been 8 years since then. And while anyone would say that this social outcry would have become the motivation to change the situation, such phenomena not only did not stop, but increased and have become now so familiar that they have been completely incorporated into our lives. Boats are overturned, inflated rafts are sinking and the toll of the dead and missing is increasing. It’s not a coincidence that the Mediterranean is characterized by many as the “sea of the dead”, as her waters wash ashore and literally swallow human souls and along with them the hope for a better future and a peaceful life, but also the guilt of the once-upon-a-time shocked society that is now standing indifferent facing this human disaster.

The shipwreck in Pilos counts hundreds of dead and missing persons. The number of people aboard unknown, the sail conditions, unthinkable the days for which the ship was at sea. The details of the survivors come once more to disturb the peaceful community and disrupt the international politics, which include the enaction of countless searches for the ones responsible, promising heavy punishments and declaring a three-day period of mourning to comfort the remnants of their guilt… Really, what did the state do all these years? We stated our rage with little Ailan’s drowning, we asked exemplary punishments, demanded policies based on humane and fair confrontation of the migration issue and after eight years we become witnesses to one more tragedy – possibly one of the greatest reported so far.

Why should we sleep in our bed, while our fellow people are sleeping at the bottom of the Mediterranean? Why should our people drown at sea in 2023 while searching for a better life? Why should the refugee and the migrant still be considered parasites and additional burden to the society? Where are the peaceful and humanistic ideals of the west world when such events take place?

Does anyone wonder: until when will the refugees pay with their lives the price to search for a better life? Until when will the guilt of the global community drown along with the human souls? When will we truly show compassion and empathy as a society as a whole to our fellow human being? When will we demand a society united, undivided in fields according to origins? And after all, until when are we going to pretend that we couldn’t have been in the same position?

Maria Petsini

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