I could not agree more with Clairmont Lye and others who have suggested that Guyana reach out in human solidarity and accept at least a small number of refugees from Syria.
I have felt nothing but dismay and disgust to observe the craven inhumanity of a number of governors of states in America who have declared they will ban Syrian refugees from entering their states. Surely this is against all that America, a nation of immigrants, is supposed to stand for.
Such refugees are desperate. They would not put their children at risk if they were not. Here are some lines from a poem by the Somali-British poetess Warsan Shire which expresses this very well.
no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark.
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city
running as well.
your neighbours running faster
than you, the boy you went to school
who kissed you dizzy behind
the old tin factory is
holding a gun bigger than his body,
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.
no one would leave home unless home
chased you, fire under feet,
hot blood in your belly.
it’s not something you ever thought
doing, and so when you did –
you carried the anthem under your
waiting until the airport toilet
to tear up the passport and swallow,
each mouthful of paper making it clear
you would not be going back.
you have to understand,
no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land.