Pluma Migrant Writers Guild. "Write to be heard."
Have you seen the tents of Syrian refugees?
Have you seen the grubby ground,
Rubbish all around, where they’re expected
Having been ejected from their own nation?
Do you know about the places where I have been?
Have you seen the real news?
Been to Jordan, in Wadi Finan?
Which can’t even look after its own?
There you’ll see tents.
There you’ll see what it’s like to be a refugee.
Where the only ones that care are the UN.
And they just give you a white tent,
With their big logo.
And expect you to have hope
Through the cold winter,
Whilst a world away the rich people say to themselves
We are compassionate
For accepting migrants
Migrants who can pay for flights, the train
And turn up with a sense of entitlement
That they’ll get welfare or a job.
Have you seen the refugee camp off Route Nahr Ibrahim Halat?
North of Beirut,
A pitiful set of hovels
From which children emerge each day to
Beg, hussle, waste their childhoods
Trying to extract something
From the hateful local Lebanese
So they dont go hungry,
In case their parents
Fail that day in their efforts to support them?
What about the clutch of tents in Dana Nature Reserve, Jordan?
Next to the dry riverbed on the dusty, bumpy way
To the fabled Wadi Feynan Ecolodge –
Popular with the rich European
How many of them do you think have been driven past
But didn’t stop
On their way to a quiet night under the stars
Feeling good about themselves for having found
A remote place of peace
To boast about to their unadventurous friends in their comfortable apartments back home?
How many do you think stopped by the UNHCR tents,
Offered their homes, an air ticket out of hell?
I’ll wager you haven’t seen these camps.
I’ll wager none of those tourists stopped.
Just like I didn’t. Not afraid. Also not interested.
I hope those camps don’t exist anymore.
I’m convinced though,
If they’re gone,
That it’s not because
Germany sent teams to Beirut and Wadi Feynan to rescue them
Like it should have –
Instead of enthusiastically taking a flood of comparatively rich, well educated migrants who would disdain these camps. Who represent a Syrian brain drain.
And then telling the world how open and kind they are for accepting them.