They made it ...
A shipload of Syrian men, women (some pregnant) and children. People who chose to risk all to escape a situation so much worse than the situation that drove my not-to-distant ancestors out of the UK towards new lands.
My ancestors had already been gifted the lands of another people, there were dangers but less than these people face. And, of course, they don't have a government able to gift them the land of others.
But look at their faces. They've made it after being abandoned on a massive ship, steering locked so they'd crash into land, and left to their fate by the people traffickers who made their fortunes with this one shipload. And so the Italian military made yet another heroic rescue and landed 6 of their people onboard, unlocked the steering and now these people have been taken in by Italy.
Italy who can ill-afford more people but remains more humane than many countries. Already I can hear my right-wing friends starting their engines, having read the news that tells us these people will ruin our lives. Somehow not comprehending that the bankers have done so much more harm than these people running for their lives. Somehow not comprehending the reality of corporate greed. They have been convinced that their particular part of the planet is theirs by birthright, paid for by their taxes. Gifted by God perhaps.
But anyway, these immigrants have chosen life. The courage it takes to make these journeys ... where so many die at sea every month. They've survived. They want to live. And if we let them, they'll slip into our world and, most of them, will work hard to make a good life, a safe life, for themselves and their families.
The world needs to change its attitude towards this now 'illegal' immigration. One day it might be us seeking new land, seeking shelter ... humans have a history of this. And honestly, I really believe we need to just check in and see what we'd do if our children were caught up in a war that they didn't start. What we would do if the people we loved were in danger.
It's a no-brainer for me. I'd leave. We only have one life and surely it's up to us to make it the best we can. The people on these ships take unimaginable risks, give everything they own to make the journey.
This photograph shows the relief of people who have made it. They're safe. Soon, they may find out they're considered less than the people they will need to live amongst, or that, simply put, they're hated and feared. They may be detained and imprisoned. They may be sent home. But for the moment, the look on their faces in this photograph, says everything to me.
We are safe. We made it.
I love the New Zealand singer, Dave Dobbyn's, song to immigrants. It makes me so proud. We have a country almost as big as Italy, home to just 4.5 million people but have we already been taught to hate and fear what these foreigners will do to our economy? Have we already been taught that we must turn our backs on them? Let's see it.