Croatia, a country bypassed by investors and refugees alike, (Sandra Benčić, Centre for Peace Studies, the panel on Vis) has finally welcomed them. The Refugee Wave has arrived.
Until now we have been protected by a bizarre combination – minefields, xenophobic mentality, collapsing economy, the absence of Schengen and - uh - the rumor that we killed Muslims in a recent war.
Right now we are being protected by the government in the pre-election period and Pope Francis who instructed – one parish, one refugee famWe are not murderers. We are simply afraid to show our good side, that we are not sheep, that we love people whoever they may be. Help us to be better than we’ve ever beenily, which means 1,537 families, about ten thousand people. People? Aren’t they refugees?
Until yesterday, we called them migrants; we have distanced ourselves from ignorance, but is it enough?
Don’t the refugees know that there are no jobs even for us here, people dig through trash, educated young people are leaving (oops!), our war is not yet finished, at least not in the minds nor in the tents?
They know, that’s why they bypassed us so far, as much as they could. They left us alone to deal with our sweet and sour victim role. Now they’ve arrived. Why? What do they want, I mean, what do they really want from us?
There are many texts on that subject, so I prefer to invert the question. What do we want from them? Except to not exist, to leave, to be gone. What exactly are we afraid of? Who are they, in fact?
What if they are messengers? What if they are a chance? Maybe our salvation? Fenomenally incompetent government of Zoran Milanovic gets them on a platter. The elections were lost back in 2014 and only a miracle could save them. A refugee miracle?
Thousands, tens of thousands of people expelled by war, drought (caused by climate change, that’s when you ride alone in your car), tyrants, faNo, it’s not fortunate that they want to go to Germany. It’s not good news to hear that they don’t want to stay with us. What are we, lepers?natics, world superpowers. They come to our doors. People in trouble. Just like we were back in 1991. We know trouble. Will we lend them a helping hand? One or both? Will we let fear, evil, provincialism prevent us from being human?
Will we miss the opportunity? Will we show ourselves and the world how to care of a man in need? Show, human, institutional, governmental, non-governmental solidarity. The notion that the planet is everyone’s, that we are all people.
I wonder - how do we recognize the coming of the Messiah? No, this is not another one of those religious texts.
Whether we’d like to admit it or not, a lot of people around us believe in the coming of the Messiah, the return of Jesus or some other form of salvation, sent by God. I don’t intend to deal with that, I take it as a given.
How do we recognize his coming? Or her, or their. It’s not certain that we’ll reach salvation (if there is one) in the form of a man. What if it comes in the form of people? Suddenly. Drastically changing our everyday life, with which, we’ll agree, we are not satisfied.
How do we know that it’s not what’s happening right now? Or to rephrase the question - What is the (higher) sense of this growing migration, which is clumsily given the wrong name, when even ‘refugee’ is not an accurate description. What is the message, the meaning, the essence of these migrations - towards a better life, towards hope?
What do we learn about ourselves, about life, about the arrival of these people to our region who are neither tourists nor do they come on business, but chased by trouble?
We learn that we live much better than all of them, and we are persistently unhappy, disappointed; we whine that things are bad, and I guess Will we let fear, evil, provincialism prevent us from being human?they are, the enormous quantities of tablets, alcohol, cigarettes, celebrities, drugs, reality shows are spent, happy people do not whine. It’s not it. Or is it?
That we are confined in our small country, unhappy that we are not all the same, that minorities exist, that there are those who are not like the rest of us? Maybe.
That we don’t see the solution to our problems, which they offer us, with their skills, knowledge, culture, ability to endure all the pain of a refugee? A country that constantly records a decrease of the population, the largest municipality Gračac has 5! inhabitants per square kilometer.
A country which lost its way after achieving its strategic goals (NATO, EU), which charged its independence to all the incompetent, corrupt, with fake diplomas, fake disability papers – has been given a new chance. Of course we can use it. Unexpected growth of the Croatian tourism in recent years shows that we can, when the mediocre, bureaucrats, policies and ideologies loosen their reins for a moment.
Will Croatia be the country that will (once again) be used as an example of how to help people in need?
Can we accept that we ourselves will become better, live better, get rid of various fears when we accept people of other races, religions, culWhat do we want from them? Except to not exist, to leave, to be gone. What exactly are we afraid of? Who are they, in fact?tures?
Such an opportunity does not come often. Let's open the possibility to have as many of these people stay here, integrate, enrich us with their millennial culture. No, it’s not fortunate that they want to go to Germany. It’s not good news to hear that they don’t want to stay with us. What are we, lepers?
Do we have the strength to call out to them: Stay here. What's wrong with us? Is not our Beautiful – beautiful enough?
We are not so closed-minded, we have traveled the world's seas since ancient times, and we are scattered all over the world. We were in El Shatt, too. Marco Polo's our man. So is Tesla .
We are not xenophobic, we were made to be, but we won’t have it. Come on. Stay. Let us stop the war in your country, let’s re-build it. Together. And then we can go visit your country. Which will meanwhile become ours. As it should be. We know we can. The floods last year reminded us, we took care of 663 493 refugees and displaced persons during the war. Many Muslims as well. We are not murderers. We are simply afraid to show our good side, that we are not sheep, that we love people whoever they may be. Help us to be better than we’ve ever been.