I was just telling J.H. about my conversation with my dad the other night. We were having dinner with the news on, most of which was focused on the recent attacks in Europe and the Middle East (Paris, Beirut, Baghdad). The next thing we heard was how some people were blaming the attacks on the Syrian Refugees. My dad then said to me, “I was a refugee too, remember?”
My dad was one of the Vietnamese Boat Refugees who escaped during the Vietnam War. He was 19 and he knew that his best chance at life was to leave at any cost. As we watched the news together, my dad became reflective and began telling me how much of a struggle it was to leave home. Along with his siblings and cousins, they had to find places to stay as they crossed different country borders, hide from bandits and pirates, and most of all, survive on the small boat they had to flee on. He said that if he had not made it to the refugee camp or met kind strangers along the way on his journey, he would have died.
Ending the conversation, my dad simply said, "People are crazy to blame the refugees because they're just trying to find a home too. There is no fault in that."
Anyway, I found this article a couple days back and saw how my dad wasn't the only Vietnamese refugee whose heart goes out to the Syrian refugees. I think it's important that we all have sympathy and empathy towards one another, and try to find ways to help each other out.
More on the article here: http://news.yahoo.com/vietnamese-refugees-reach-syrians-fleeing-boat-030536457.html