"We understand what they're feeling"
May 5, 2016 3:16 PM   Subscribe

Alberta's Syrian refugees jump at the chance to help Fort McMurray evacuees. Despite barely having a foothold in their new country, Syrian refugees in Calgary are contributing what little they have after seeing footage of the terrifying wildfire in Northern Alberta. Somebody tell Trump.
posted by MACTdaddy (16 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite
 
That's wonderful. People can be so good.


It should make some other people ashamed.

It won't.
posted by BlueHorse at 3:42 PM on May 5, 2016 [19 favorites]


Nice story. wow.

May this sentiment spread faster than the wildfires.
posted by Artful Codger at 4:05 PM on May 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


Wow. This comment.
I at first was off put about the refugees only because of the economy otherwise I'm all for helping people....then seeing this...changes me completely.they lost everything and choose to donate what they have to us...I have to admit I am in tears reading this never have I been so wrong
posted by Glinn at 4:41 PM on May 5, 2016 [26 favorites]


People, can you tell me. Why is it that people who have lost the most tend to give the most? I mean, I know the answer to that. But, why has no one come up with a way to sway the ones with the most who need it the least, to share some of theirs?
posted by Glinn at 4:48 PM on May 5, 2016 [3 favorites]


Because those of us with little understand how precarious our lives are. If I give you $10 to pick up bread and milk today so you can eat, when you have $5 spare you'll probably help me if I need it.

The wealthy have no such fear, so they have no impetus to pay it forward.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 4:58 PM on May 5, 2016 [11 favorites]


People, can you tell me. Why is it that people who have lost the most tend to give the most? I mean, I know the answer to that. But, why has no one come up with a way to sway the ones with the most who need it the least, to share some of theirs?

Because people who've never had much, or had everything taken away from them, know that people do not get what they deserve.

Rich people, on the other hand, need to believe that they are rich because they are special, smart, hardworking, and beautiful. And that people who are not rich, well, it's all their fault.
posted by entropone at 6:40 PM on May 5, 2016 [23 favorites]


They understand in the most direct and horrifying ways what it is to have your life destroyed in an instant, and what it means to have people reach out to help you. May this belief continue.
posted by rtha at 6:42 PM on May 5, 2016 [2 favorites]


It's empathy. Well-off people often don't have much because they've never been poor or hungry.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:47 PM on May 5, 2016 [1 favorite]


People, can you tell me. Why is it that people who have lost the most tend to give the most? I mean, I know the answer to that. But, why has no one come up with a way to sway the ones with the most who need it the least, to share some of theirs?

When our shitty old car was on its last leg, we broke down several times over the course of a month before we gave up and got rid of it. When we broke down in the "nice" part of town, nobody blinked and I guess just assumed we had AAA and a cell phone and that we could just help ourselves. When we broke down in the poor part of town, more than one driver in a similarly crappy old car immediately stopped to help us. It struck me hard that it was the poor people who had empathy - and acted on it - since they had in all likelihood been in that situation themselves. Based on that, It doesn't surprise me in the least that refugees would be the first to help someone out of a desperate situation.
posted by gatorae at 7:38 PM on May 5, 2016 [8 favorites]


I saw this earlier and it is absolutely wonderful.

My Facebook feed has people from high school(30+ years ago) posting a particularly vile, lying meme about the vast wealth the government gives refugees and how Trudeau and Notley aren't doing a thing for Fort Mac(another vile lie) and how disgusted they are by it.
I thought of posting this on their wall, but, why bother, it won't make a difference and I try not to argue on Facebook. So yeah, it's amazing how so many different people have pitched in to try and help.
posted by Phlegmco(tm) at 7:49 PM on May 5, 2016


Syrian refugees also helped with flood relief in the UK earlier this year:
In Mytholmroyd on New Year’s Day, locals were stunned to see a group of Syrian refugees from Manchester turn up to shovel mud from the playground at the Burnley Road Academy, a primary school that was almost destroyed during the Boxing Day floods.

Yasser al-Jassem, a refugee who escaped Syria a few months ago, explains why they were there: “I volunteered when I was in Aleppo. I was an ambulance driver and helped with humanitarian rescue efforts when the Assad regime bombed civilian areas. Now, in the UK, I also want to volunteer, and so do many other Syrians who recognise the importance of humanitarian efforts like this one because of the destruction in our homeland.”
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:30 AM on May 6, 2016 [3 favorites]


Syrian refugees also helped with flood relief in the UK earlier this year:

Clearly, these are IS sleeper cells.
They arrive, they help, they are productive, super-useful members of society and *bam* 2050 it's all jihad caliphate!

I mean, it's that, or Syrians have been through some serious shit over the past five years. have found a common humanity and just want to be nice to everyone.

But that's crazy talk.
posted by Mezentian at 8:17 AM on May 6, 2016 [1 favorite]


Walking a mile in each others' shoes ...
posted by milnews.ca at 8:52 AM on May 6, 2016


Interesting. Last week my FD did what's called a "boot-shake" where firefighters stand by the side of the road at an intersection and hold fire boots to collect cash for a charity, in this case for Muscular Dystrophy (MDA).

People in Mercedes and BMWs either won't make eye contact or will hand over a couple of ones or some coins; people in plumber's or gardener's trucks or ten year old Toyotas are the ones who will toss in a twenty.
posted by Standeck at 9:01 AM on May 6, 2016


It's empathy. Well-off people often don't have much because they've never been poor or hungry.

Because of family and geographical location, I know a good number of Trump supporters. When they start banging on about immigration, I evenly and calmly remind them of the dust bowl, the Okies, Dorthea Lang's photos and such. If that doesn't help, I remind them of the displacement of many the residents of New Orleans to Houston, and remind them that whether or not they think mankind is the reason, the climate is warming, and people will have to move and the people that move may well be them. I finally ask how they would want to be treated at whatever place they wind up. Finally I mention that as well as Mexico having a depressed economy, there is also largely an abdication of govornment in certain areas as a defacto narco war rages, so that many workers are not only economic, but in many ways, political refugees, much like the English, Irish, Polish, hell, even the Quakers and Pilgrims, all of whose heritance these people are exceedingly proud.

So many of them agree with everything I say and then wrap it up with a plaintive 'Well, OK, but I just don't understand why they have to move heeeere.' At first it was confusing, then it was just saddening and frustrating, then it was deeply infuriating. I've finally at the point that I don't have these conversations any more - and knowing that about myself: that I can't figure out how to communicate with another human being about something so basic as compassion - is simultaneously terrifying and depressing. I just don't know what to do, and I strongly believe that we absolutely have to solve this problem.
posted by eclectist at 9:31 AM on May 6, 2016 [4 favorites]




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