The term “refugee” churns varying emotions depending upon who is reacting to it. Many would be thrown into a swell of heartbreak; sympathizing for the displaced and their seemingly endless journeys’ to a find a home. While on the other hand, many may actually feel anger towards these people, as if they are infringing upon our homes and way of life. Either way we cut it, the global understanding of what it means to be a refugee appears to be swept under the rug. No one seems to care; or at least not a large enough percentage of the population to do anything about it.
A refugee, in common nomenclature typically refers to displaced humans, who are removed from a homeland through varying factors, such as political turmoil, war, or even natural disasters. However, “refugee” has aroused multiple connotations across the world, and will be approached differently to the respective viewpoint of a person. For many, refugees are a means of study, who can use the data and experiences concerning the phenomenon in order to draw conclusions and analyze them. Others see them as a call for activism, and are deeply moved by the misfortunes of the displaced and sympathize with them at every turn. Still, there are those who either ignore or hold animosity towards them. Across the globe, we can witness refugees being turned down from border to border; ending up in crowded camps with deplorable conditions. In regards specifically to the Calais Refugee Camp in southern France, “A lack of sanitation poses a real threat to public health, with many residents of the camp forced to defecate close to where they sleep and prepare food.” (Davies)
A key factor in the lives of refugees is their movement. The National Geographic article on Syrian refugees depicts the life of a refugee as one of constant movement, typically in the form of walking. Refugees will use various forms of transportation if need be, but typically are restrained to the shoe-lace express. Aside from the walking is quite a bit of waiting. The waiting is usually within the previously mentioned camps, though can be seen at border stops and various locations across a refugees travels.
Refugees are invisible in the end. They are tossed aside by governments in a position to aid them, and are seldom given thought by us, who are so comfortable in our living situations. Are these people so far below us that we should not even consider them during our daily lives? The answer is they are not below us at all, but one could easily infer that they are so considering how they are valued by the greater public.
Davies, Thom. “Geography, Migration, and Abandoment in the Clais Refugee Camp.” Political Geography. Print.
Salopek, Paul. “Syrian Refugees.” National Geographic 1 Mar. 2015. Print.