The voices of the desert
PUSL.- They arrive little by little but are thousands. Some are already in Spain others will arrive in the next few days.
Small ambassadors from Western Sahara, children born and raised in refugee camps in southern Algeria, just as their parents were born and raised there and their grandparents built a country in exile in the middle of the death desert.
They spent more than 4 decades of exile, survived more than 4 decades of Moroccan occupation.
Here they come to Europe these little Saharawis, innocent and smiling faces but also often with tears that spend a few weeks away from the refugee camps and get to know the “first world”.
Families and institutions welcome children and make promises, strive to provide them with what we, in the first world, think is necessary to have a happy childhood.
Dolls, play cars, computer games, clothes, varied food, amusement parks, trips to the swimming pools. And so we tried in a few weeks to compensate the debth of years with this people.
A band aid, which allows many children to have medical checkups and treatments essential for survival.
We convey a reality that is not real, the illusion of a prosperous Europe and a continent of honey and milk, of abundance and happiness.
A little like we do when our emigrant relatives return, offering them what we do not consume during the rest of the year.
We take these children to City Halls hoping to arouse public opinion to a forgotten conflict. Spain is the only one to blame for the situation experienced by these children, their parents, their grandparents.
It colonized Western Sahara, called it province 53, said that these people were Spanish and forced Spanish nationality on them, the Spanish documentation to an entire people, then they withdraw cowardly under the cover of the night and handed over these children, women and men and a very rich territory to Morocco that invaded without opposition the Western Sahara and initiated the genocide,
These children who we welcome and enjoy a few weeks of “normal life” have never seen their country, have never seen the riches of Western Sahara, never seen many of the relatives living on the other side of the Moroccan military separation wall (2720km long).
We hear their reports of how they live in the refugee camps; children do not know that they are not supposed to be happy even in the most adverse conditions, and so they talk happily about their homes, their schools, their friends and family.
Yes they live in exile, in the desert, a survival existence, but surrounded by a tenderness and incalculable love that only those who visited the refugee camps can understand.
It is good to get dolls, it is good to go to the swimmingpool and the amusement park, but what these children really need is to return to their land. What they need is an independent, country, free from occupation and terror.
What they need is to be able to hug their cousins in the territories that are now occupied and give them the good news, that Morocco has departed that the apartheid regime has ended that they can walk down the street without fear.
These children will bring happiness to many homes in Spain, and if the actual host families like these children as they say, then their ultimate mission is to not forget the face of the child they have had in their home. An be waware of the factthat this face was the face of an ambassador and that it represents many faces.
It is a main mission throughout the year to be active, denounce and engage in actions that pressure Spain to finally fulfill its role and help its “ex-compatriots” to achieve true peace.
It is essential to add to humanitarian solidarity the solidarity and political commitment that will lead to the independence of this people and the end of the need for extreme humanitarian aid.