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Borders, walls, and all that separates us


I was 10 when my mother woke me up to witness the fall of the wall of Berlin. She wanted me to witness history. A wall that once kept families apart and served as a physical demarcation between two “ideas” was brought down by a crowd of young and not so young people who were hungry for change.

Almost 20 years later, I may be about to witness history again: the construction of a wall to keep certain people out. Moreover, invisible barriers are being created targeting a particular religion and particular countries.

Today, I felt sick to my stomach. I haven't been able to articulate my anger. I'm angry at those who, with some paper and ink, can affect people's lives, but don't consider the consequences. I'm angry for the pain they're causing to others. I'm angry because I feel so powerless.

All day today, I had to remind myself that borders are arbitrary lines and that walls haven’t been successful at keeping people apart. The thing with borders and walls is that they can't contain ideas and they don't always withstand the test of time.

New countries are born every once in awhile. Walls come down. People bring walls down. Ideas dismantle walls, brick by brick. Walls become obsolete and serve as nice sites (think The Great Wall of China).

Call me naive, but I believe that one can be a citizen of the world. I believe that one can explore the world and find a new home in a foreign land. I somehow still believe in our humanity.

I, myself, am an immigrant. So, today I felt for all these people who were refused the right to a better life. I feel for all those whose dreams will hit a wall. I feel for all the modern nomads who may have to defer their dreams because the world is slowly becoming less welcoming.

We've entered dark times. But light always prevails.


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