The world (probably except for the US) has been gripped by a crisis, the like of which has not been experienced for many years, regarding refugees.
The situation as we know has emanated from the ongoing war in Syria, which seems to have no clear end in sight. Millions of Syrian refugees have fled the country amid the fighting and are seeking sanctuary in the European Union.
For those of you not familiar with the make up of the European Union, the following information will bring you up to date.
There 28 countries in the EU, of which several have a quota system to accept refugees from all countries, not just Syria. There are also countries which refuse to accept any refugees. The discussion in point for this article is the changing face of Europe.
For the last 150 years and more, migrants have been coming to Europe to seek a better life, employment, because of marriage, education, etc…, The vast majority have gone about their daily lives in their new countries and integrated into their new societies. The changes came about mainly, in my opinion, from the level of integration.
I myself am the child of immigrant parents who arrived in the UK in the 1950,s and integrated into British society. Thus, I learnt British values and culture, and I was surrounded growing up, by immigrant children of varying nationalities. There was always a difference between being at school and with other kids, to being at home with family. At home, the culture of our roots was at the forefront. The food, the language( the language in my house was no different, as my parents came from an English speaking former colony), the humour , the music, were all different to the things we were exposed to at school. Television played a big part in shaping our identities. English TV programs gave us kids our perception of life and the people around us.
The Europe of the last 30 years, has seen vast changes to the small(in comparison) influx which happened pre-1950,s. As the European union emerged, and the continent as whole, became wealthier, more people saw this as their opportunity to provide a better life for themselves and their families. The only problem was that when people arrive en masse, they formed their own communities within the community, and these communities became separated, both physically and culturally from the mainstream communities.
If we fast-forward to recent times, we see that many European cities have communities which bear no resemblance to the country they are in. These communities have fueled the rise in nationalism and xenophobia, which many countries are experiencing now.
As the influx of migrants from Africa, The Middle East, Asian countries such as Pakistan, Bangladesh, and countries from the former Eastern bloc countries continues, countries are either closing their borders, or allowing migrants passage through to other countries.
There are many, many aspects to this situation, and this article only scratches the surface, but the Europe many people know now, will soon be a thing of the past.