Aylan Kurdi, the drowned little boy, makes us cry and think
The Syrian little boy of 3 or 4 years, lies drowned on the beach, pale and still dressed in his little boy’s clothes. Face down and with the face turned to one side, as if he would want to still breath. The waves had pity on him and carried him to the beach. The fish, always voracious, respected him because they also had pity of his innocense. Aylan Kurdi is his name. His father could not keep hold of them and they escaped of his hand; and the boys were swallowed by the waters. .
Dear Aylan: you were flying from the horrors of war in Syria, where the troops of President Assad, backed by the rich Arab Emirates, fight against soldiers of the cruel Islamic State, that beheads all those who do not convert to their religion, sadly supported by Western forces of Europe and the United States. I imagine that you were scared by the sound of the supersonic planes that launch murderous bombs. You did not sleep by the fear that your house would fly in flames through the airs.
How many times you would have heard your parents and neighbors say how dreadful are the planes that fly without a pilot, the drones. The drones persecute and chase human beings through the arid hills, and kills them. Wedding festivities, celebrated with great happiness, in spite of all the horror, are also bombed, because it is supposed that there must be a terrorist among the guests.
Perhaps you do not imagine that who practices such barbarity and who is behind all this is a young soldier, who lives in a military barrack in Texas. He is peacefully sitting in his living room in front of an immense TV screen. Through satellite the screen shows the battle fields of your country, Syria, or Iraq. When the young soldier suspects, with a simple touch of a bottom fires a weapon held by the drone. The young soldier feels nothing. Hears nothing. He does not even has pain. On the other side, thousands of kilometers away, 30 or 40 human beings, children as yourself, fathers and mothers like your father and mother, persons who have nothing to do with the war, suddenly die. They are coldly murdered. From the other side, the young soldier smiles because he had hit the target.
Due to the terror that comes from skies and land, facing the dread of being killed or beheaded, your parents resolved to flee. They took all the family. They do no think of looking for a job. They only want neither to die nor to be killed. They dream of living in a country where they are no longer scared, a place where they can sleep without having nightmares.
And you, dear Aylan, could happily play in the street with little playmates whose language you do not understand but that you do not need, because you the children have a language that all boys and girls understand.
You, Aylan, have not been able to reach a place of peace. But now, in spite of all the sadness we feel, we know that you, so innocent, have arrived to a paradise where you can at last play, jump and run everywhere in the company of a God that was also a child, of name Jesus, and who, not to leave you alone, has become once a gain a child. And he will play soccer with you, he will grab a little cat by the neck, run after after a little dog; you will understand each other so well, as if you had been friends forever; together you will do colored drawings, will laugh at the dolls you will make and share beautiful stories with each other. And you will feel very happy. And see, what a surprise: with you there will be your little brother who also died, and your mother will be able to embrace and kiss you, as she did so many times.
You have not died, my dear Aylan. You have gone to live and to play in another place, a much better place. The world was not worth your innocence.
And now let me think with myself. What world is this that frightens and kills the children? Why the majority of the countries do not want to receive refugees from terror and war? Are not these refugees our brothers and sisters who live in the same Common Home, the Earth? Those refugees ask for nothing. They only want to live. They want to be able to have some peace and not to see their children crying scared and jumping out of bed with the thunder of the bombs. They are human beings who want to be welcome as human beings, without threatening nobody. They only want to live their manner of venerating God and to be clothed the way they have always clothed.
Have not been enough two thousand years of Christianity to make the Europeans minimally human, solidarians and hospitable? Aylan, the little Syrian dead on the beach is a metaphor of the Europe of today: prostrated, lifeless, incapable of crying and of welcoming threatened lives. Had the Europeans not heard so many times that who welcomes the stranger or the persecuted is anonymously hosting God?
Dear Aylan, that your image thrown on the beach elicits in us some of the humanity that always stays in us, a thread of solidarity, a tear of compassion that we cannot contain in our eyes tired of seeing so much useless suffering, especially of children, like yourself. Help us, we beg you, because if not the divine flame that trembles inside us, can extinguish. And if that flame is extinguished, we all will drawn, because without love and compassion nothing will make sense in this world.
*Leonardo Boff, a Grandfather of a distant country that has already received many persons from your country, Syria, who took pity when he saw your image on the beach and painful tears of compassion escaped from his eyes.
Free translation from the Spanish sent by
Melina Alfaro, firstname.lastname@example.org,
done at REFUGIO DEL RIO GRANDE, Texas, EE.UU.