THAT ALL MAN ARE FROM ONE TOWN
And for days, many days, Stella did nothing but stand at the gate and watch the road. She watched people come to the village and people leave the village. She watched the road when there was no one on it. She stood by the gate, watching that road until it was so dark you could not see your own hand.
Pappous Yiorgos couldn’t bear to have his wife standing by the gate watching the road any longer, so he sent Vaia to ask her mother what she was watching for. Yiayia Stella answered Vaia in words the daughter did not understand. Vaia became afraid and hurried to her father to repeat these strange words. Pappous Yiorgos repeated the words to himself over and over again so that he would never forget them. And because he loved his wife, he went to see the Schoolmaster to find out what these words might mean. The Schoolmaster said that the words must be of and ancient dialect that only the great scholars of the big towns can understand.
Pappous Yiorgos went to the town of the great scholars. For a week he payed the scholars and they consulted in their books which had words from every language. In the end, when nearly all his money had run out, the scholars told pappous Yiorgos that his wife was mad. They told him that he must return home, he must not leave his mad wife alone for another minute. With the last of his money pappous Yiorgos bought thread from a gypsy women. Beautiful coloured thread for a mad wife. Silk thread in colours he had never seen before. He spent all his money on the thread so that on his last night in the town he had to sleep out in the street.
Pappous Yiorgos returned home with nothing. And as he was walking into the village he saw her bent figure and her little face pushed up against the gate, watching the road that led into the village. His heart ached. That’s when he knew the meaning of the words she had said. She said that all men are from one town and sooner or later they return to that town.*
From one town.
From Syria, where, since 2011, there has been a violent civil war between the Basque regime of Bashar al-Assad and rebels, which can be said to be one of the most catastrophic conflicts in the world after the Second World War. By 2016 approximately 470,000 people died and 1.9 million were wounded.
Conflicts, violence and hostile living conditions have been and still are causing the escape of a large number of civilians from their homes. 12.2 million people in Syria need help, of which there are 7.6 million people depopulated across the country, and in the neighboring areas there are already over 4 million refugees. According to UNHCR data, there are at least 1.9 million registered refugees in Turkey, over 1.1 million in Lebanon, nearly 630,000 in Jordan, nearly 250,000 in Iraq and over 130,000 in Egypt. Around 24,000 people found shelter in other countries in North Africa.
She said that all man are from one town.
She said that all man are from one town.
They gagged his mouth,
Bound his hands to the rock of the dead
And said: Murderer!
They took his food, clothes and banners,
Cast him into the condemned cell
And said: Thief!
They drove him away from every port,
Took his young sweetheart,
Then said: Refugee!
O you with bloodshot eyes and bloody hands,
Night is short-lived,
The detention room lasts not forever,
Nor yet the links of chains.
Nero died, Rome did not:
With her very eyes she fights.
And seeds from a withered ear
With wheat shall fill the valley.
She said that all men are from one town.
According to UNHCR estimates, in 2018, 2,275 people died or were missing when crossing the Mediterranean Sea.
Refugees are coming also to Slovenia.
They come in distress.
They just want to protect their lives. They need our help.
February 23, 2016: “How do you even know that they are children?" The headmaster of the student home in Kranj was faced with such questions just because she "dared" to propose that six unaccompanied minors should be placed in an empty student home - in a separate building.
Writer Evald Flisar, a former president of the Slovenian PEN Center, decisively and clearly stated in public: “Is this about children? You must be joking." How precious are intellectuals like him! I quote his public letter.
As the president of the Slovenian PEN Center (which is part of the most elite world organization of intellectuals and authors, with centers in 140 countries), I am forced to write that the events related to the accommodation of six migrant minors in the dormitory Kranj is a historic shame for our subalpine nation.
In a recent referendum, the majority of participants opposed the possibility that a handful of same-sex couples could marry and get the right to adopt children (such cases would certainly be less than six per year). If this is still somehow acceptable, then is the objection of parents and 24 teachers of France Prešeren High School in Kranj to accommodate six refugee children in a dormitory, which is mostly empty, seen as so unreasonable and despicable that all inhabitants of the once promised “next Switzerland” should ponder on it. And ask themselves if we are still considered as a civilized nation.
Are the parents (and teachers ?!) who felt such a great threat in refugee minors that they shamelessly objected to their accommodation, aware that a similar fate may soon befall them? How would they feel if the parents of domestic children and 24 teachers, allegedly intellectuals (?) who should see that the world is heading in the wrong direction, opposed the accommodation of their children in an empty dormitory in one of the European countries, let’s say in Denmark, France or Germany?
Is this about children? Come on. With this shameful act, we were placed alongside the countries that do not deserve to be part of Western civilization, alongside the countries that are characterized by individual selfishness, heartlessness, unreasonable fear of something different and pathological xenophobia instead of humanity. Because of those characteristics, in a 21st century we do not deserve to be called a human in the very heart of Europe. There are reasonable and thoughtful measures to prevent the refugee wave to overflow us, but being heartless towards abandoned children is something else. And what did the Ministry of Education do in this regard? Despite the “constant readiness”, it did not even find the time nor the will to condemn this inhuman story.
Ljubljana, 7 February, STA - There are currently 646 people with recognized status of international protection in Slovenia, among them the majority are Syrian citizens. They are located in integration houses or private accommodation. 109 refugees are involved in educational institutions, and according to our estimates, about hundred have found a job.
Most of the refugees who come to Slovenia do not want to stay here; they want to go to other EU Member States.
On two routes, the first one is the Central-Mediterranean route that goes from sub-Saharan Africa, through Libya and the central Mediterranean to the coast of Italy, and the second one being the Western Balkan route that goes through Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia and Hungary.
The migration crisis on the so-called Balkan route reached its peak in 2015 and 2016, when more than a million migrants and refugees came to Western Europe through Greece and other Balkan countries.
August 2015, "This week we had to order coffins for 25 corpses, among them for three children, just barely a year old. This is a tragedy. “No, it's more than a tragedy, it's a genocide,” said the Mayor of Palermo Leoluca Orlando in an interview with one of the European televisions. Asked if the genocide was a bit of a word, he insisted that all Europe, which still only watches at what is happening to refugees, "must show responsibility for the genocide of these people". The European Union, by its conduct, clearly "violates all the fundamental laws on which it had been founded. It is a disgrace that Europe does not understand that migration should not be punished with death. Every Italian, Briton or German can travel to Bangladesh. However, the European right of entry can be a death sentence for a Bangladeshi refugee.
In a harsh social situation in Europe, many feel that they are marginalized, ignored, doomed to poverty, that the existing system is unfair; in such a climate, it is not difficult to cause xenophobic feelings; on this basis, radical right-wing movements, whose jokers are anti-Islamic discourses, are strengthened.
The National Assembly of the French extreme right-wing Marine Le Pen, the Italian National Front Matteo Salvini, the German extreme right Alternative for Germany ...
Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician, leader of the Party for Freedom, warns against Islamization. He claims that the Muslims did not adapt to the European way of life and the rules of the local society, and therefore stopped immigration and construction of mosques and banned the Koran, which he compared with Hitler's Mein Kampf. He compared Islam with "a painful fascist ideology of Allah and Muhammad."
I am awestruck by the beauty of the Arabesque. I believe in brotherly love. You may say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one.
PASSING BY, Straw-Country
The painter painted her, The Girl. In the summer day, she laughed, and behind her, there was a big sea and everything was passing by. They used to sit on a boat once. They were cleaning fishes, remembering.
Within a memory, there was a memory; the winding spiral of the memory and laughter of the Girl, and everything was passing by.
It was passing by slowly, quietly, softly, gently; the sea, the trees, everything and the Girl had bright hair and everybody loved her.
This day, another day, always, while everything was passing by.
When her father called her Daisy and raised her to the sun. To the only sun.
When there were random walkers in the landscape and they loved each other.
Only love remained, even though it was passing by as well, and the sweet caramel of the sadness of the men, who came with black hats on their heads, stuck to the crystal of the time.
LET US TAKE OFF BLACK HATS.
* Fotini Epanomitis, The Mule’s Foal
Allen & Unwin, 1993