I had a fascinating conversation with a Somali refugee – let’s call him Mohamed. I suggest you first watch the video below, which was blurred for his security:
Mohamed first discusses his issues with the Somali and Kenyan governments, both of which are indifferent to the plight of the refugee. While it is true that Kenya accepts refugees and allows for support infrastructure as it is required to do by treaty, the refugees here have very few rights. Mohamed tells me that he wants to go to the US and be a doctor, and that he would fight in a war for the United States.
It shocked me at first that a refugee would support war, though at this point it should not come as such a revelation. In history it’s hard to anybody reacting to violence with a massive call to peace. Violence is not as shocking if you’ve been through violence.
More shocking, though, was his allegiance to the United States, a country he has never lived in but hopes to move to soon. Love for the US is very common in the camps – as Mohamed says, the country gives almost everything there. It is seen as a land of paradise with opportunity for all.
Mohamed, I respect your views. I disagree very, very strongly – and it makes me sad to see that someone in your situation could hold these views. But I can’t judge…and it also seems that you are not the only one.
Watch the video and let us know what your thoughts are.