Got a free 15 minutes? Don't have a free 15 minutes? Doesn't matter -- watch these short films.
"A Life on Hold" and "Rain is Beautiful" are two shorts depicting the everyday life of Omar, a 17 year old Somali living in a refugee camp situated at the Tunisian border.
Since the 2011 war broke out, thousands of refugees from Somalia, Sudan and Eritrea who were living or transiting through Libya have been forced to find refuge in neighboring countries. They’re now awaiting in refugee camps at the Tunisian and Egyptian borders, unable to either leave or stay.
While watching "Rain is Beautiful" (part 2 of "A Life on Hold") I caught myself thinking, "these people are just so much better than us" as I virtually joined Omar in his journey towards freedom in Sweden, where he reflects on his family, wondering when they too will be able to resettle in a place of peace.
But when I look at it like this, when I consider these people "better," I minimize their effort, their location, their experience. They are not better. We are the same...but different.
Experiences and location may forever divide us. We may never be able to truly understand each other's personal journey. But we can listen. We can bare witness. We must participate in any effort to really see the immigrant struggle, the experience of an asylum seeker or refugee. We must acknowledge their hardships and celebrate our differences. To learn and to grow. To fully acclimate those who are deemed different into our community with open arms and open hearts.
We are stronger together.