Dear Mother by Beth Cohen Review

A young woman sends her mother a message from a hiding spot in the mountains of Greece. Part of Project WE.

Review by Sandy Rakka

Rather than being warmly welcomed, fed, made at home and given their fundamental right to seek asylum and be safe, they were pushed back into the sea with no concern for their safety or their humanity.

Huda Hussien Anda from Somalia, 25 years old, Huda and two other women, along with 27 other asylum seekers arrived on Chios island in Greece, at the end of June, 2022.
Fearing a “Pushback” to Turkey by the Greek authorities the young women hid in the Island’s mountains.

Project WE is a series of short videos featuring moments shared between displaced people and aid workers. A collaboration between Refugee Biriyani & Bananas and Studio B, the series highlights the humanity behind the refugee crisis and proves that there is no us and them – just WE. The lines further blur as displaced people volunteer with and care for aid workers as much aid workers support the displaced.

Here in the West, we are reading first-hand accounts of how people who’ve escaped war, poverty, crime, and violence, often risking their lives on small rafts to do so, are pushed back into the sea rather than being warmly welcomed, fed, made at home, and given their fundamental right to seek asylum and be safe. At the same time, we are hearing about how aid workers, who are simply filling in the gaps of what governments can provide by sharing food and kindness with these newcomers, are often criminalized, intimidated, thrown in jail.

It’s unfathomable that anyone should undergo any of this.

In the face of what these fellow humans collectively face, it is hard to grasp how the world can continue on against all odds. Yet it does. The sun continues to shine, the sky remains blue, there is hope. These shorts illustrate that while humans are responsible for committing egregious acts of wrongdoing, we are also capable of the deepest kindness and generosity.

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