By Reyam Jamaleddine, October 25 2023—
While the days of life unfold, as wars rage and as human life is subjected to lesser things, the earth is seemingly becoming smaller — there is no space to put the surplus of life. There is no space on Earth for those who are not human and I come to realize that I live with the consequences of being the burden of human existence.
As Poland’s upcoming parliamentary elections loom over the horizon, discussions about Muslims, migrants, refugees and the safety of the people quickly became the dominating topic amongst political debates and candidate platforms. The discussion of the refugee, of the orient and of the non-humans is not a recently discovered topic. However, today I view this topic from the standpoint of exhaustion and confusion. I hold sheer bafflement at how outwardly and arrogantly people who have no homes are spoken of.
Living in the refuge my mother now calls home, I recognize that she never had a voice in choosing this asylum. My mother never had the choice to leave her home, she never chose to walk in these streets or live in these homes. She did not unpack her bags in this place with a smiling face while holding an eager hope for her future — my mother came here with the scars of war that this very place gave to her. She never chose to have this safety in this country, the very country that initially took away her safety. She never chose to be the burden of the world. I suffer the consequences of knowing that she never had a choice.
My mother is not a human.
The truth of the matter is, that my mother is not a human, she was and never will be safe. My mother’s safety is not well grounded, it is regularly questioned, badgered, discussed, debated, argued over, welcome and unwelcome. My mother’s life and her safety were never for her, because my mother is not a human. She is an alien of the world, the one who has no home and is not welcomed into the world. The one who ran and never stopped running. She is political and controversial. My mother is an opinion. My mother is taboo. My mother is an economic problem and the destroyer of the status quo. My mother is a topic of conversation that people can avoid when her inhuman existence makes them uncomfortable.
My mother is the burden of the world.
Her home was bombed and left in rubble, it was taken away from her before she could ever find solace within its grounds. The world watched and the world debated what to do with her and where to put her. My mother became the burden of the world by becoming a victim of the world. My mother became a surplus of human existence. I suffer the consequences of believing that the very least the world who bombed, who killed, who took away from my mother would make space for her.
My mother is not a human.
My mother’s burden has spilled over into my existence. I live with the consequences of recognizing that my mother is a human. I become a politically violent speaker, the taker of rights, jobs, space and freedom when I acknowledge that my mother is human. When I declare that there is space on earth for my mother I am faced with arguments and questions. I live with the consequences of never understanding why the world does not know my mother is a human. I live with the burden of having special eyesight and different magnitudes of energy that enter my brain that allow me to know that my mother is human. I know there is space on Earth for human beings who have seen war and lost homes — but not for my mother, because my mother is not human.
My mother is brown.
My mother is Muslim and an Arab, an oriental. My mother might be a human, but she is a lesser human. She is a human beast. Today, I recognize that the world does not have the special eyesight that I have, the special powers that I have — the powers that allow me to know that my mother is human. This earth is not for my mother, she was born and will leave with having no space on this earth. I can momentarily accept this because one day someone might create a whole new world and a whole new planet for my mother, one that has a surplus of space for her and others like her.
My mother is more than just a human.
This article is a part of our Voices section and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Gauntlet editorial board.