For those of you returning to work from the long Thanksgiving Weekend – hang in there. For this month’s We Are the World Blogfest (WATWB) post, I would like to share a rather somber and politically-charged story with a silver lining.
The story, recently posted by the Washington Post, is that of a German mayor, Andreas Hollstein, who was stabbed in the neck for his pro-refugee stance. The silver lining in this violent tale is that the life of the mayor was saved by a kebob shop owner. The kebob shop owner, Abdullah Demir, assisted by his wife and son, bandaged the mayor’s wounds until the mayor could be transported and treated at the hospital. The kebob shop owner and his family are of Turkish origin.
I share this story, not because of the violence and fear it evokes, but because it sends the message that we must stand together for human rights and against hatred. The life of Hollstein was attacked due to his support of the lives of refugees fleeing to Germany from crises in their own countries. The life of Hollstein, in turn, was saved by a family whose origins are also from outside of Germany.
This story sheds light on the global refugee crisis, particularly as news of modern slavery continues to surface at the plight of refugees. Just as one should help to save the life of a family member or neighbor, we must protect our fellow humans. The lives of refugees should be protected because they are human lives. Regardless of political views, refugee rights are human rights.
The silver lining of this story is that the mayor was treated and released from the hospital and the attacker taken into custody. Pro-refugee and human rights triumphed over hate and violence.