225 Million and Counting
''I am a foreigner in a foreign land and no matter how long I stay here I will always be a foreigner but not necessarily an outsider'' Paul Walters
Their names could be Ahmed, Maria, Chang or Maciek they would all have an individual story and different circumstances. A relatively recent report from the U.N outlined that there was roughly 225 million people worldwide that were living and working in a country different from their country of birth.
From Indians working in Dubai to Turks settling in Germany alongside Chinese established in Africa waving at Mexicans in the U.S sharing a similar craft than their Polish brothers established in Ireland, that's a huge amount of human stories out there. That's a fair number of people who more than often tend get more abuse than praise as a form of recognition. The medal of animosity is often the most common distributed reward when it comes to distinguish the contribution many of them make to their adopted country.
To those who are lacking tolerance and have a tiny breadth of view, it's difficult if not unacceptable to sympathise with those who sound and look different, but what do they know about it really ?
Independently of the context that bring one individual or a family on new shores it is fair to acknowledge than while they are maybe all coming from different horizons they also have probably one thing they all share in common, it's the ability to adapt. I am not talking about a small adjustment, a simple acclimatization or a mere alteration I am thinking more about a profound and fundamental change.
Imagine you are left with no choice but the one to leave. How would you function in a different language, would you have what it takes to learn a new alphabet in a matter of months, how quick do you think you would be able to absorb the colloquialisms and other subtleties of a local lingo. Don't take for granted either that you would be able to study or even be allowed in certain cases, in addition you may come to understand that acquiring new skills is tricky and requires drive and tenacity.
Assume that no matter how prepared you may think you are or how thick your skin is, you will often be discouraged because it's damn hard to integrate in a society you were not raised in. How would you cope with the fact that past the initial welcome speeches the local tribes seem to often have a very low tolerance for the blow ins.
How would you feel when you suddenly understand that at best you are only tolerated as a celestial body when the local scum is worshiped like a star. I am curious to understand how you would navigate thru the daily casual vexations and other manifestation of racism, what would you answer to those who brandish the right of the soil non sense.
It's easy enough for the people who want to build a wall to ignore that a wall will always fall. It's perhaps more difficult for them to recognize than new residents coming from afar have some drive and may even thrive.
Not everybody is vile or hostile you see but it can take a while to get past the mockery. It's not easy for anybody to swallow stupid jokes and idiotic remarks. If you happen to be bright you can expect some confrontation with those ultras sitting on the society far right.
Every success attempt will be torpedoed, you will be reminded constantly of your rank, if you happen to have different philosophical or religious beliefs you will be thrown at the other end of the pecking order and the colour of skin I should not mention because this could bring to your case only aggravation.
There is no need to be bitter, all in all a foreigner makes the society better. And it does matter: expats, economic migrants, refugees or whatever you may want to call them are fantastic individuals they should not be seen as rivals.
Forget the wall it is the season after all
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Written Material Copyright 2017 - Pascal Derrien -
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