Our expatriate Russian correspondent Russkiy, who has taken the trouble to learn Arabic, returns to Gates of Vienna with translated excerpts from the BBC’s Arabic service.
Russkiy includes this introduction:
As I have mentioned previously, I have been learning Arabic for a while, and I am at a level now where I can actually provide some translated articles for Gates of Vienna’s audience to read.
I came across this article at BBC Arabic. It asks Arabs who are thinking about or have already undertaken illegal immigration to Europe to provide some comments on their experiences.
There are hundreds of comments. Most of the commenters complain about living conditions in their countries, and claim that it is all fault of the Imperialistic West. In their view they are fully justified. There is no appreciation whatsoever of the West, except by a few commenters who say how badly they were discriminated against in Arab countries, and how well they are treated in the West.
Note: I think the translation is about 90% accurate.
Below is Russkiy’s translation of the BBC’s introduction along with several sample comments:
Your Views: Victims of Illegal Immigration
In many parts of the world a lot of people play with the idea of illegal immigration in search of a better life. The desire to accomplish this dream drives some, especially young men, to employ illegal means for immigration, which often are fraught with danger.
Typical examples are the attempts to cross the Mediterranean Sea in flimsy boats from Africa to Europe, attempts to cross from Egypt to Israel, or attempts to cross the Mexican border to the USA. However, the illegal immigrants undertaking such journeys rarely can avoid the dangers of drowning, being shot by border guards or being arrested and deported.
If you tried to emigrate by using illegal means, or you know someone who has or who suffered because of such undertaking, please share your experience with us.
We also want to know the reasons why you felt impelled to undertake such a dangerous endeavor, risking losing your life and your possessions. In your view, do the benefits of such an undertaking outweigh its dangers? Do you think that young men who are considering such an action are ignorant of its true dangers?
Comment 1: I believe that illegal immigration is caused by British colonialism which cultivated poverty, ignorance, and an evil system of government in our lands. I am personally was born in the West and married someone from Europe, and worked in the countries of Persian Gulf, and because of my history, I couldn’t even obtain a reasonable standard of living in my country or any other, and the reason for that is the old and the new colonialism. I want you to discuss what European, British, American and Israeli colonialism has brought to people of the Middle East.
— Faysal al Saudi
Comment 2: Its not poverty that forced me to emigrate. I am an Iraqi and everyone knows the blessings of Iraq. But darkness and intolerance have covered up my country. I left Baghdad in 2005 to go to Izmir in Turkey, from where on small boats we tried to cross to the Greek Island of Samos where we were overtaken by Greek police. At that time the smugglers threatened us with guns so that we jumped into the sea at a distance of 2 km from the shore. Unfortunately, four of us didn’t know how to swim and one drowned.
— Ahmad al Shamari
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Comment 3: Please tell me if the immigration of Europeans to America was legal or illegal or English immigration to Australia was legal or illegal or the Spanish and Portuguese immigration to South America was legal or illegal. And what has happened to the natives of North and South Americas and what has happened to the Australian aborigines?
Comment 4: I can leave my country even though I am banned from leaving, since I can obtain a fake passport. What I am afraid of is if I am caught by the Western police and given up to the Saudi authorities, who will cut my head off with their swords for my apostasy, or put me in the hospital for the mentally ill until I die. Unfortunately the free West doesn’t realize the circumstances of our oppression.
— Abadi al Najdi, al Riad
Comment 5: What is it that Europe is afraid of from illegal immigration? Is it the deeply ingrained Islam in the minds of Muslims? Is it the displacement by Islam of the barbarous capitalistic order? And what is it that Europe will lose if this happens via a legal pathway of arguments and proofs? The struggle of the Muslims is not with the general population but with the political order that supports a life of luxury there at the expense of the Third World.
— Islam Yusef