Go for the Best or Nothing: A Letter to Chancellor Angela Merkel

January 31, 2018 Africa , Europe , Middle East , Opinion , OPINION/NEWS

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Amara Femoh Sesay


This message is from a Sierra Leonean former refugee in Guinea, West Coast of Africa. At four, my country started a decade long civil war best characterized by the depth and breadth of the destruction it wreaked on innocent lives and the country’s weak infrastructure. The facts of the war are already too popular to require any further analysis, but one thing which many, including millions of Germans, may not know is that I needed to be a refugee to bring out the diamond in me. I spent a substantial part of my young life in asylum with access to books at a time when hundreds of my fellow young compatriots only had access to AK 47’s and marijuana. I studied while they killed; I woke up every day looking forward to brighter days while they woke up every morning waiting for that one relief – a bullet that would put an end to their miserable lives.

Because of that great privilege I had in the early years of my life, I am eternally committed to the cause of refugees and my heart goes out in love and respect to anybody who cares for the future of the refugees of this world; especially the children among them. I share a passion with you to see a world where no child is left to starve and die in the hands of barbarians; while we have the opportunity to at least plant a smile on their anguished faces. I do understand the anger of many Germans after your radical decision to do what many “powerful men” of this world never had the conscience to give a second thought. And many more preferred to callously turn off their conscience modes when many vulnerable kids were left to rot in the rubbles of tyranny.

I know what it means to feed, clothe, educate and provide security for people whose very presence inspires fear. These are people who are enemies by default as a result of the conditioning of popular western culture and media over the ages. It is also true that many of these refugees, especially from Syria, may not have the right skills to live in advanced organized economies and may find it very difficult to reintegrate. I know that being born and raised under the callous eyes of dictators and tyrants might have killed in many of them the humanity and tolerance required to develop the human race. I also know that many aspects of their religion are different (if not in contention) from popular German culture. But make no mistakes! Like any other human beings, they too appreciate success and the tranquility and sense of security that follow it.

Given the opportunity, they too can touch the sky and force clouds to shower mankind with rains of prosperity! They possess the potential that can only be awakened by compassion, guidance and a genuine concern to enhance their positive development. Please endure the risk and explore your fullest ability to show solidarity and compassion to fellow human beings regardless of their race or religion. It will take patience and a lot of resilience, but Germany may be preparing itself in these difficult times for global leadership.

My dear Chancellor, please don’t let up. In as much as you should respect the views of the people who voted you into power and empathize with them in their fears of living with strangers who remind them of horror and death, you should also know that you restored the dignity of humanity in your own unique way. And the whole world should be proud of you if only they know what was at stake! It may be long years after you are no more, or it may be the next morrow, but Germany shall certainly see the fruits of this painful labour. Who knows! Maybe this is Germany’s destined path to global glory and leadership at a time when minds are constricting where they once expanded! Germany will get the best of what she has done for a people who were on the brink of decimation. Those that drove them away will get the best of what they asked for. Go for the best or go for nothing!





Amara Femoh Sesay

Amara Sesay is a Sierra Leonean writer, education innovator, and journalist who resides in Nigeria. His works have been published both locally and internationally. He is a Fellow of Ebedi International Writers Residency and an alumnus of British Council (Nigeria) Leaders for Tomorrow. In 2016, he was shortlisted for Youth Innovation Award by United Nations in Sierra Leone. Amara can be reached on [email protected]

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