An Apprehension off the shores of İzmir … KiyiyaVuranInsanlik
I was recently on a sojourn in İzmir, a vibrant city on the western extremity of Anatolia. The city being the third most populous city in Turkey, shrouds on a collective feel of humanity, decorated with beautiful attractions such as historic sites, archeology museums and beautiful sea coasts.
The city lies on the coast of Aegean Sea, creating such a natural beauty that enjoys the Mediterranean climate. The coasts provide a commercial ground port as well as beaches for touristic attractions. Alaçati and Çesme were two of the beaches which I had the opportunity to see.
I, not being someone generally fervent to the night attractions or noise subjective environments, was among the visitors of Çesme one night. It was a warm evening; the air was humid, with chilling zephyr coming from the tempestuous ocean. The bright sturgeon moon illuminated the whole horizon. It was more like a moon twilight.
I sat by a stone pavement off the sea shore, surveying the dawn horizon as the water turbulence sways away the sea spume. The shore was quite crowded, with some people enthusiastically throwing their fishing hooks in hopes to bait and clasp the unlucky fish of the day, others seated on pavements like myself, mostly in couples, and a few buzzing away the moment with alcohol. I suppose in exchange to obliterate feelings they don’t want to have, or in order to illusively acquire a feeling they desire, or they might just be drinking, I don’t know.
For some time, I felt isolated, like an alien attending a United Nation summit. But the bespattering sound of the ocean tides is as it hits the pavement I sat on, rekindled my mind and took me into a deep realm of hypnotic cogitation and pondering. Man, as a powerful being, and by creation, a terrestrial being is ever evolving with growing imagination and modernized civilization. But how helpless are we as aquatic beings. Our power is nothing in comparison to the strength of the slow ocean tides. One can learn how to swim, and enjoy the recreational activity, but one cannot live by swimming- only if it were possible, then the image that emanated in my brain will never have to exist, the seldom feeling of melancholy and grief slowly engulfed me and further aggravated my introspection. The image of a deceased child, whose body has been washed off the sea shores appeared. Alyan, was his name. As if I could see the child in the early moments his refugee boat capsized. Floating hopelessly to the tides, struggling to hold grasp of the little air he can, and not inhale a rather salty solution into his lungs. If a ship is powerless in the ocean, then how more so can a child of age three be? A child that needs all the help and guidance she/he can get as a terrestrial being, is now struggling in one of the biggest oceans in the planet. Imagine the grief the mother of this toddler had to bare; is it losing a son? Or seeing him fight his last breaths, or fighting for her life in the sinking boat as well? Humanity washed ashore
One of man’s proud invention is the Nation state, as Hangel in 1956 proclaimed that “Is the Divine Idea as it exists on earth”. Also, one of the revolutionary anarchist thinkers of the 18th century, Bakunin – the founder of anarcho-syndicalism, and he has this to say about Nation State: “is the negotiation of humanity, whether monarchy or republic”. In my humble opinion, both of them could not be more wrong today. Who is negotiating for whom? Alyan does not care about concepts of territorial sovereignty and central government, he does not care about what and whose belief is superior, talk less of “compromising the social standards”. Yet, he lived to pay for the policies with his life. Humanity washed ashore.
These refugees spend weeks on the sea, competing for food as well as air to breathe, all these in search for a peaceful land, a place where they could rest their heads at night without the worry of waking up in blood or literally, roofs on their heads.
The horror, as if not enough as it is, these refugees have to bear humiliation and hostility from some states they arrive, that is still not enough, but they have to be vilified on the bases of “differences in belief” and “social standards” in fear of social diversification. It is imperative to note that these fleeing refuges were not born at the borders, or fleeing because of a self-induced condition, but rather, once had a home, a state, and lived a life they are now dreaming of.
The world has been grieving and mourning for the 1500 passengers of the Titanic-1912, yet, we are not short of sinking two Titanics in 2015 alone.
J.K Rowling wrote in her Harry Potter series “Indifference and neglect often do much more damage than outright dislike.” How much more indifferent can we be to the full horror of human tragedy unfolding at the shores of the richest continent -by GDP nominal- on the planet.
Has mother earth failed in habituating Alyan, his mother and his bother? Or we as a people create a global assault on human rights, and remain indifferent to the scourge of poverty and statelessness that results. The final chapters of Alyan and his mother has been closed but how many more Aliyans do we have today, and how many more are going to have a similar story…. Humanity washed ashore.
Ending with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi, “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is like an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty”
- By: Abubakar Isa Adamu