14 April 2011

Little Blue Book

April 7, 2011

“It is virtually impossible for Moroccans to enter Europe or the U.S.” This is a statement that after so many years traveling, living abroad, and even studying immigration, seems self-evident to me, but it’s something we have to explicitly tell our students.

My whole life I’ve been fortunate enough to have the money to travel abroad. More importantly, I was born in a place that gave me this little blue book at the age of 8. This little blue book could allow me entry into more countries that most people could name. To date, I have visited Australia, New Zealand, Egypt, Spain, England, Italy, Scotland, Germany, Ireland, France, Turkey, Peru, Mexico, Jamaica, and of course, Morocco. But this little blue book isn’t available for everyone. Sure, everyone with enough cash in their pocket can get their own book: burgundy, green, red, etc. But that doesn’t get you out of your country, into other countries, and really knowing other people and other cultures.

So I feel really lucky now, sitting uncomfortably on this plane. I’m probably developing life-threatening blood clots in my legs from being squished in this corner without moving for 5 hours, and yet, I know the chair I’m in and the blue book in my backpack below my feet are two things that a lot of people in the world would sacrifice much more than I have sacrificed for it.

Ever since I wrote my undergraduate thesis on immigration, I’ve been rather appalled at borders and how racist and unfair the idea of nation state can be. I just want to make it fairer… how can we do this?

No comments: