Cordially Invited: Refugee Family Discourse

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Natina Roberts

What do you see? Is it New Tara, the plantation of the twenty first century?

Crops of dreams and disasters lay juxtaposed as biproducts of influential forecasters. It makes you wonder what Hitler and Prophet Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) would have been like in toastmasters.

Crops have been placed in the fertilizer of society’s sycophant adages. Sown and harvested via the compass of left and right-wing baggage.

Social relationships have redefined community stability. With trailblazers like Cervantes and Durkheim outlining the strength in human fragility.

Now, transnationalism, influential in navigating life courses, shepherd the new era of social transformations. For example, our hunter-gathers now make Uber reservations.

In light of our changing world, darkness is still present. It has grown stronger and sown seeds of discontent.

A world of unease and duress is what some live in. This habitat has materialized through the normalization of suffering; tied with an uneven social-reciprocity ribbon.

Families say, “We saw death, its stare was treacherous.” They continue saying, “… thankfully death didn’t see us.”

Getting on boats; rowing away their fears, not knowingly docking into fear o’er again.  A newfangled pandora’s box opened; releasing the asylum-vintage’s aromatic pandemonium.

Almost airborne, the pungent scent of stigma, dead-end family reunification, and broken resettlement frameworks, waft through the air. A shared breeze encompasses the world in a humanitarian nightmare.

In such situations, the UNHCR distributes empathy gift cards. The problem is these are not redeemed. The recipients are too busy fortifying their safeguards.

Walls of mass destruction, take that how you will, break families apart and reduce refugee quotas to the size of ant-hills.

Ironically, the average reflex when looking at an anthill are symptoms of chills. It gives a new meaning to the phrase seeking cheap thrills.

Society, feeling as if magically imbued with some infectious disease, lacks safe responses to war and atrocity.

Living tombs of detention and encampments are made. Disappointingly, world leaders are completely unfazed.

However, intergenerational consequences may yet lead to resilience and invigoration of kin. This lets you know the trump card doesn’t always win.

SDGs present a load of crop. Albeit good intentions, is a global humanitarian chop-shop.

Inhumanely we pick and choose who to support. Displacing proletarian persons; bringing shame to the Nansen passport.

Who is responsible? Who is to blame? We always want to point the finger to make it easier to see ourselves, like Dorian Gray.

Which family has sown these seeds? Whose historical trauma and chronic pain is a cash-crop guaranteed?

Tell me, what do you see in a refugee family?  What are the stories that shape us and what are these narratives redefining?

Are they forced migrant or migrant families? Is the distinction important to navigate dysfunction globally?

Now, the next time someone opens your oyster shell and questions your worth, let them know your origins aren’t a mystery. You are from the earth.

My words aren’t mystic, they are simple heuristics, only a supremist would argue with something so realistic.

Natina Roberts is a creative, driven, health-sciences professional with 9+ years’ experience in mental health advocacy and teaching. She has been involved in safety, wellness and self-sufficiency initiatives for diverse community groups – of varying ages – (nationally and internationally). She has a strong background in research, education and advisory. She is currently pursuing her doctoral degree in family psychology and the University of Auckland in New Zealand. Her PhD work is with forced migrant/refugee families.