Guyana should accept at least a small number of Syrian refugees

Dear Editor,

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.

 

Home

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

   with

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

   about

doing, and so when you did –

you carried the anthem under your

   breath,

waiting until the airport toilet

to tear up the passport and swallow,

each mouthful of paper making it clear

   that

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.

 

Yours faithfully,

Ian McDonald

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