Migration: the world is flowing (1)

Semaan Khawam

This publication has benefited from the support of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation. This text may be reproduced in part or in full, provided the source is acknowledged.


Stories of those caught in the transit countries

It is not possible to consider the huge flow of migration happening nowadays (more than 68.5 million persons in the world are on the roads) as being the result of various “crises”, foremost of which would be the wars and civil wars. Nor can we view it as being the repercussion of some ethnic or tribal persecutions, or as the consequence of the attractiveness of Europe and its embodiment of the “dream”.

If though all this indeed exists, it still falls short of painting the whole picture. The idea of “crisis” suggests that this would be an accidental, contingent and temporary phenomenon, which is unfit to reality.

There is another “structural” side of the problem in the existing world order itself which consists of the destruction of the living conditions in the countries of origin of those migrants.

From the expropriations of agricultural lands on which local farmers live and work for the benefit of the export-oriented industrial sector controlled by multinational corporations, to climate change and pollution and the catastrophes they both cause, to the uncontrolled pillage of those countries’ natural resources, to the congestion in slums around big cities where complete misery and despair prevail.

It is not possible to be content with the standpoint that dominated most researches on immigration and which revolved around Europe (for the migrants coming from Africa and Arab countries) or around the USA (for the migrants coming from South America) as if this was the most important given.

We consider that the fates of the uprooted ones and the distressing choice they had to resort to are at the heart of the topic. We also view that the “threat” they represent for Europe is nothing but the embodiment of the condescending and miserly view of the old colonial logic and its new version which exploits the world to benefit the powerful ones and only pays attention when something bothers its interests. Only then, it deviates the issue, exaggerates it, and centers it on its own self!

These are the stories of sub-Saharan Africans who arrive to the North of the continent: Egypt, Libya, Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco in an attempt to cross towards Europe.

Only a few of them manage to do so while the rest either sink into the sea or remain in whichever country they ended up in, barely surviving in dire conditions.





The illustrations of the folder: Semaan Khawam, Houmam Al Sayed, Mohamad Baalbaki, Johnny Semaan, Serwan Baran
Translated from Arabic by Fourate Chahal El-Rekaby

The content of this publication is the sole responsibility of Assafir Al-Arabi and Rosa Luxemburg Foundation cannot accept any liability for it.

Printing Version