24 October 2016
In the span of one month,
between September and October 2016, I've participated in two events related to
migration. In one, in Hungary, the majority of the participants were
Western academics and policy advisors. In the second, in Sudan, the majority
of the participants were Sudanese media and journalism professionals. Very
different context, but ultimately the similarities in grievances are enormous
and often muted in the general current chaos that is the Migration Discourse.
About our Guest Author
The fact of the matter is,
most of us reading this today are migrants who moved around neighborhoods,
cities, countries and maybe continents. Mobility is a human instinct that is
spurred by the immediate environment; sparked by environmental disasters,
hostility, socio-economic advancement, or reunification with standard family.
Our problems today were faced in the exact same manner of chaos and distress
when more that 100 years ago Europeans migrated to the USA. The decision to
move by a few individuals responding to a certan issue became a mass exodus.
This exodus requires a system to absorb it bureaucratically and systematically
into the complex web of socio-economic and cultural structures. Like the chaos
in Ellis Island, our current systems in Sudan or Hungary will have to work under
pressure due to realities of the world we live in. However, we tend to forget
that even where there is relative calm in the world, migration is happening and
people are moving. In smaller volumes, but still moving.
Knowing this fact: that humans have always been and will continue to be mobile,
is supposed to make us feel more at peace with the current movement and accept
that its not extraordinary, nor odd. This is the first step to accepting and
actively working towards solving the bottle-necks of the migration wave
currently exploding beyond systemic preparedness and control. There is a dire
need to halt the current biased discourse (worldwide) laden with distress and
start democratic, inclusive, accurate, human and well rounded discussions
around migration, its root causes, possible benefits, and threats.
Omnia Abbas is Sudanese and
has an MSc in Environmental and Resource Management from Vrije Universiteit
Amsterdam and a BSc in Biology from the American University in Cairo. She has
research experience in the spheres of climate policy, environmental politics
and private governance. Omnia launched Eco Options Egypt, the first
sustainability online magazine in Egypt. She works for Potential Energy Inc. as
the on-the-ground representative in moving to a financially sustainable
market-based strategy for the Berkely-Dafur Stove in Darfur and other
conflict-affected areas of Sudan. She writes about the migration issue that we
are facing globally, and in particular Europe, where borders have been closed
off by various countries in the face of the large influx of refugees.