human experience, human rights, politics, refugees

Boat People and Bumper Stickers.

“Why further punish an already vulnerable minority for their actions – when those same actions simply reflect our shared sense of humanity and our fierce instincts for survival?” (Julian Burnside, from ‘You’ve Been Misled on Boat People’, SMH 2013.)

The hostile and often ill-informed attitude towards refugees in our country is a constant source of amazement to me. I know way too many well-meaning, kind-hearted, good-intended Aussies who live their day to day lives by a certain standard of morality; but so tragically, those same people measure the global refugee crises by a completely different set of standards. Continue reading

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human experience, politics, refugees

Ignorance is Not Bliss

I was fortunate to spend a lot of time overseas often as a child. A credit to my parents, I remember having a genuine sense of wonder around new languages, cities, clothes, music, food and architecture, and that sense of wonder has really carried through into my adulthood. I guess that’s why I married an Egyptian (lol).

Often I find that the challenge – or at times, hilarity – of a language barrier still gives me a thrill! I love to try new cuisines. I still marvel at art and architecture from all kinds of backgrounds. So while it may sound idealistic or perhaps even totally naïve: I’ve always struggled to understand the construct of racism. It just doesn’t add up in my brain. I still can’t relate to how one person could hate another person they don’t even know based on the colour of their skin, or their religion, or their country of origin. In my head it seems like straight up lunacy. I don’t mean to say that I’ve never had an uncomfortable interaction with anybody – because I have. What I do mean to say is that I marvel in that we are all unique, with our own background, heritages, and stories. I feel that we have so much to learn from each other.  Continue reading

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