Time to act

@vivekmaru @lore @Lore @tobiaseigen @lauragoodwin Lately I have been thinking a lot about discrimination in terms of citizenship and right to documentation. My visit to Dhaka in August exposed me to the other angles of discrimination. In Kenya, the Nubians are discriminated upon based on their tribe and religion, the Makonde case is even overwhelming and it will be under rating to call it discrimination. This is because the government doesn’t even consider them as nationals of Kenya. Shamelessly the same people they considered as brothers, friends and neighbors fully support or keep quite when such communities are being discriminated. As Charles Bukowski says, “I guess the only time most people think about injustice is when it happens to them.” The rest of the community remains silent until it befalls them.

By the virtue of me staying in a camp like the Geneva camp in Dhaka, Bangladesh, qualifies me to be treated as an enemy of the state. Or by the virtue of coming from a Dalit colony in Bangladesh qualifies me to be a sweeper, deny me the right to dignity as am considered unclean and subject me to extreme marginalization. What is in a camp name? William Shakespeare in the book Romeo and Juliet says, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

Today lets ask ourselves, what’s in a camp name? What’s in my tribe? Does that make me less human? We have lived to see great minds like Khalid Hussein who once lived in a camp now everyone in Geneva camp looks up to him.

I can not say that one community is better off than the other because no one deserves to be treated as a second or third class citizen and I believe we all contribute to the menace by keeping quiet because we aren’t the ones in the situation. Do I have to face a challenge in order to stand against it? Its time we all start being our brothers keepers just like the teachings of the holy scriptures.


@mustafa_mahmoud, I stand behind your words. This very sentiment — that we should all have equal access to opportunities regardless of status, origin, or affiliation — is what drives me to work in legal empowerment. I think you will appreciate this statement by Elie Wiesel:

I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality always helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.


Your Sentiments are very true @mustafa_mahmoud , while no child should be born stateless; discrimination in issuing of citizenship documents have rendered many to be stateless.