“Can you please go get him and bring him to [my home]. We’ll be waiting for you guys with flags, flowers, and balloons. We will give him a family and he will be our brother.”
The question is posed to the President of the United States of America by a six-year old. Alex, a six-year old boy wrote a letter to Barack Obama when he saw the picture of Syrian boy Omran Daqneesh sitting in an ambulance, covered in blood and dust after air strikes in Aleppo. Alex wanted Omran to join his family and be his brother.
At a time when the world is trying to be more conservative stories like this give hope that all is not downhill. There is an increasing far-right sentiment in many countries now, not just any countries, countries that have a great say in how the world functions. This is a matter of concern. The Refugee crisis has been the rallying point for these far-right wing stoking fear and insecurity of the masses.
The parallel with the situation preceding the Second World War to the present one is uncanny. The Make America (Germany) Great Again campaign is just one of them. Nationalism is one area very fruitfully utilised by these extremist faction. This nationalism leads to conservativeness and then to targeting minorities. They are seen as an impediment to the higher standards of living the majority aspires for. The personalities making this cry for more extreme measures may not be far-right in their truest sense. They might just be taking advantage of a situation for their personal benefit. But the caveat is that in the process they will be creating a Frankenstein’s monster even they won’t be able to control. The mob has no conscience and stoking their passions for the wrong reasons is a high risk strategy.
All is not lost still though. The world has an equilibrium of its own. When it is skewed off its centre it tries to align back to its place. For every Nazi salute there will be a compensatory move from someone. It may be something as simple as a White mother standing outside a minority school with her two kids with placards showing reassuring measures. This inherent goodness with the world is certainly going to be put to test in these times.
The humanity that a young child can display, who hasn’t learned to be cynical, or suspicious, or fearful of other people because of where they’re from, or how they look, or how they pray, and who just understands the notion of treating somebody that is like him with compassion, with kindness — we can all learn from Alex. President Obama read Alex’s letter in the Leader’s Summit on Refugees and his message is what we should hold dear.
As I am writing this a BBC News update came. Bana Alabed the seven-year-old face of Eastern Aleppo on Twitter has been evacuated safely.