Today is World Refugee Day and this made me ask myself who is a refugee and who are the refugees we are asked to remember on this day. Unfortunately certain people still pass certain comments such as ‘another boat full of those people has arrived!’, ‘Why don’t they find another place to live?.. they should go back to their country!’ Such a paradox! If they could, do you think they would have come here, passing through hell to get to here from Libya detention etc, just for the fun to come and see sunny Malta while leaving their family to do all this? Is it worth it? I don’t think it is and do not think I would have had the guts to do such a journey.
Then the comments you hear: ‘they are taking our country over and our jobs’ and apart from that ‘change Malta to an Islamic country.’ Have we become such staunch Catholics? And as I recall a catholic should love, accept and so on. I thought that was something that Christ taught us – feed me and give me a home because in all these people there is me. I have never found in the Bible the words telling us to close the door for others and to let them sink because we have our own problems!
On the other hand what makes Malta ours? Have we chosen to be born in Malta? Have we forgotten that we are here for just a few years? Does the relatively short time we live on this island make it ours? I am Maltese and I love Malta, and even though unfortunately sometimes we disagree with one another in everything, at other times as Maltese it is easy to be united against one thing and judge and also be a racist. But the fact that we act in this way shows that we are scared of the unknown. If we are scared of the possibility that they may change our values such as those of the family, we have to see that these people give us an example of what a family is, of what love is. Yes of course some might be doing it for the wrong reason and some might steal and do bad things but are we perfect – are we, ourselves such a perfect “race”?
Could it be that I am scared to look within as I might be a refugee myself, in my family, at work, in my church, because I do not belong and might feel judged because of my life choices? Where do I belong and to who do I belong? I guess that this feast is not only for people who come to Malta in an Illegal way but it is for many other people who suffer in silence, who feel that they themselves do not belong to anyone or anywhere.