My mother always told me that there is always good will in every human’s soul—no matter how sinful he or she is. And I,with such limited experience and knowledge on this complex world, believed so too. But as the countless days pass by, this notion gradually begins to evaporate from my mind—leaving the concept of egocentric and irrationality to augment my perspective. Was my reverent mother untruthful towards me? What has happened to the world of equality that our God has given us?
I am a Syrian Refugee; and, I am not ashamed nor afraid of being one. For I am like my family, my community, the world—and,of course, you. I am a human as well. I have all the components of a human: brain, body, expressions and blood. But there is one that the public assumes that I don’t have—a good soul.
All that our family is looking for is a place to call ‘home’;all I want is for my children to go outside without having the fear of getting caught by the enemies; I want them to have a life where they are free to express their ideas, values and thoughts; I want them to have a better life— a life where they can breathe.
Perhaps, my mother and I were wrong. For now, I believe that we are neither the villains nor the problem; the government and the society of the countries have made us the victims—they are the ones who have no good will. For an elongated time, I have always thought that we were the problem;we always use violence towards a group. But now I realise that we are fighting to protect ourselves and that it is not us who don’t have good souls.
Yet, our voices are sealed with the society’s assumption. They believe what they see; Syrians are a threat to the other countries. But how can the public assume that just by what they hear and see? Do they, and you, not see us? What makes my family and I different from the rest of the world? Because we are Syrians? We bleed the same tears and cry the same way. I have four children and an amiable wife just like the man who lives in America, Australia, Italy, France and China. Then how am I and my family a threat to your country? To some degree, I understand the view of others—we are Syrians and they believe that we are only a group of sinful, violent people who come to the new country to do wrong doings. But what the society needs to realise is that not all of us carry that notion of hatred and violence. There are people in this country, who only wishes a place for their children to live and not just exist. There are children crying in pain to get a proper education and a chance to walk around the streets with laughter and joy. There are grandmothers who only wish to have a chance to hold their granddaughter’s hand and walk her to a mall with a warm smile of satisfaction.There are teenage boys who want to have the opportunity to be successful doctors, soldiers, lawyers and judges. Do you not see these painful wails yearning for freedom and justice? Do you, still, not see the good will in the soul of our communities?
We are waiting for our registration for immigration to be accepted; however, my wife tells me that we are never going to pass nor gain justice for our children. Perhaps, I should not blame you nor the government of Australia, America, France, Italy and other countries. For if I blame them, I am becoming one of them—those who criticise others just because of one’s actions and behaviors. I will continue to wait as long as you and your government endures. For we are innocent Syrian refugees craving for justice, righteousness and a glimpse of hope.
— Sarah Oh (‘19)