Expats deserve to be treated with respect

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Meherun Nisa Ahmed

THE word “expatriate” which bears the general meaning of “a person living in a non-native land” has layers of connotation linked to it.

Being an expatriate in a foreign land is not easy. People from several countries leave their loved ones at home and travel overseas hoping to be welcomed warmly.  Alas! They remain unaware of the stark realities that await them.

Expats, with the sweat of their brow, earn bread and butter for their families. They work with immense firepower and potency around the clock.
They are the engines of industrial development, economic expansion, enterprise, progress and trade in any realm. In short, they have become the backbone of many countries.

However, despite their backbreaking labor, they are labeled “expats”. Many migrants have to face disgrace, humiliation and demoralization. They are always reminded that they are foreigners.

Here, the empowering words of W H Auden can be cited:

Say this city has ten million souls,
Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
Yet there’s no place for us, my dear, yet there’s no place for us.

These terse, aphoristic and ironical lines encapsulate the entire state of immigrants.

Expats depart from their motherland to render countless services to foreign nations. They justifiably deserve to be treated with courtesy, affection, honor and respect.

Every existing religion preaches egalitarianism. All living beings in this universe share the same soul. No matter from which background, sect or zone they come. Every entity demands kindness, compassion and admiration. These components of humanity can prove to be a helping hand in constructing a better world for all of us.

The profound poet S T Coleridge has splendidly conveyed a universal message:

He prayeth best, who loveth best,
All things great and small,
For the dear God who loveth us,
He made and loveth all.

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is considered by many to be a model of empathy and assimilation.  But one Justin Trudeau is not enough to eliminate the black shadow of xenophobia from the face of the earth. Every single being must irrigate the seed of commiseration in his heart, regardless of national origin, gender, color, region, or social status.

At the end of the day, we can wipe out the line of division between natives and non-natives. The wide gulf that is increasing at a very rapid rate between nationals and immigrants can be bridged by means of a sense of sagacity and perception.

A renowned personality once rightly asserted:

Maturity is not when we start speaking big things, it is when we start understanding small things.

Meherun Nisa Ahmed,


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