Few Refugees live in a Place of Refuge

Progress is something that humans do and generally progress is thought to be a good thing. But humans fail to understand that you can progress more easily in the wrong direction than you can in the right direction. The latest achievement of human progress is the estimate by the United Nations that there are 51.2 million people living as refugees from war or persecution and that this figure is the highest since the end of the Second World War.

Afghanistan, South Sudan, Burma, Palestine, Cyprus and Syria all have lost large parts of their population to people who have become refugees. Some refugees have been luckier than others, in that they have resettled and now live better lives. Others are consigned to live in camps and settlements away from their homeland.

We call them refugees, but in truth few refuges live in a place of refuge.

I think that every refugee dreams of returning home if happier, peaceful times come again. But war, conflict and disaster usually make this impossible and we find such places as the Huguenot cemetery in Dublin and the Palestinian camps as a constant reminder of the likely fate of refugees.

There exists in most humans an attachment, almost a love for their own country; it is perhaps an indication that we love what we know and fear what we do not know. What may seem to some a unfertile piece of land of little interest may to those who were born there and lived there be a place which they love; it is said that some people have faces that only a mother could love, but some places have an appearance that only someone born there, whose preceding generations have lived and died there, could love.

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