6月21日至7月10日, 2018, students who participated in the 国际研究 maymester visited Athens and Lesvos, Greece and London to study Europe’s twin crises: the economic and the refugee crises.
由博士领导. Nikolaos Zahariadis, the group visited refugee camps and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in Athens and Lesvos. 他们还参观了议会, where they met the president of the Hellenic Supreme Court and the chief prosecutor.
The single most common word I saw spray painted across the island of Lesvos was the word “希望.” I am very familiar with this word as “希望” is also scattered throughout New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. This word might be the most powerful word in the 英语 language because of what it means to people in despair. 希望 is having the belief that life will get better and that happiness is achievable for everyone. I personally think hope is stronger than faith because hope is what pulls people out of darkness. I was not surprised at all when I saw this word painted all throughout Lesvos because it is what the people, 当地人和难民都需要.
在一个分裂的国家，议会也不例外. The Greek legislative body is split and so is the grand staircase located within the former palace. The staircase begins undivided, but at the landing it divides into two smaller staircases. I believe this is symbolic of how things seem to have gone ever since the economic crisis in Greece began. 每一次, 朝着正确的方向迈出了一步, 一个新的变量被添加到混合中, 使情况进一步复杂化. 有这么多混乱和分裂, it is no wonder that thus far none of the programs have been successful in righting this sinking ship.
似乎每个人, 无论是在希腊境内还是境外, is more worried about who is to blame for the turbulence than about how it is going to be resolved. 正是在这样的时刻，需要最伟大的团结. 当然, it is also times such as these that make those same displays of cohesion the most difficult. 随着时间一天天过去，这场危机仍然是一场危机, 公民的士气直线下降, 全国各地的紧张局势加剧. If pessimism could be converted into currency, surely the economy would be booming by now.
画在预告片上的色彩鲜艳的热气球揭示了, 即使是在难民营里, 人们仍然有希望的韧性. Both the trailer and the poem envision a better future, no matter how discouraging the present is. 卡拉·特佩表达了难民儿童和家庭的爱, 其他接待中心可能把它们弄坏了吗. It defied the dismal reality of the refugee crisis with its colors and bicycles and playgrounds. 尽管对于每一个卡拉贝克, 可能会有摩瑞亚, what 卡拉贝克 shows us is how much better we could be handling the refugee crisis. We could handle it better by breaking the rules of politics in 2018: shattering xenophobic rhetoric, 揭示移民的人性, viewing migration as a reality to be managed rather than a problem to be solved. You were not like the realtor in the poem because you weren’t trying to sell us a shithole. 我们这一代人继承了这个世界. We cannot sell it and hope someone else tries to make it beautiful, because who would? 如果不是我们，谁能做到呢? We are students with more privilege, opportunity, and access to ideas than any generation before us. 而不是房地产经纪人, 我们的教授就像承包商, showing us other properties as examples of how to make our world more beautiful. By walking through 卡拉贝克, we are inspired to remodel our reality, so to speak. 我们在像阿弗罗迪蒂这样的人身上看到了这个世界的善良, 在卡拉特佩, 在致力于帮助难民的组织里. 卡拉贝克 is like a small-scale model, the potential renovation of a sometimes hellish reality.
三年前, 近7,每天有1000名移民涌入莱斯沃斯岛海岸, where they then packed up their entire lives and made one of the last stretches of their journey toward the intake centers in Mytilene. 饿了, 湿, 受蹂躏, 数百名疲惫的妇女和儿童倒在城镇广场上, 等待被送往已经人满为患的难民营.
今年, the beaches are empty except for a stray boat that makes its way across the sea from Turkey. 今年，城市广场上没有难民营. 在某种程度上，今年的移民危机已经结束. Maybe what Europe is experiencing right now is something completely different. 也许这不是一场移民危机，而是一场道德危机. 这是一场关于责任、领导力和团结的危机. 这就更可怕了.
孩子的生活变成了一场等待的游戏, 在集中营里收养他的女人也是如此, and more people struggle every day in these camps to even prove that they have a danger to escape in the first place. 一个军官把一个人拉上船, 然后把他扔回海里, 或者一家人一起愉快地前往卡拉特佩的露天营地, 一个能提供更多资源和更好生活条件的城市. 无论人们在哪里, 他们静候下一步行动, 渴望在一个旨在与他们作对的过程中前进, 而世界上的其他国家却在向前发展，对此一无所知.
I want to “become a better neighbor” and to seek out the elephant, as Aphrodite told us. Migration is like the elephant where blind men touch different parts of the elephant and create diverse mental pictures of what an elephant looks like. 我一直提倡试着去了解别人的观点, 站在他们的立场上走走, 去思考他们生活中的潜在细节. 整体, I’ve struggled with getting the point across that people should just care about other people! I have since used the elephant analogy a few different times to help explain to people what I was doing abroad, what the immigration crisis is about and what kinds of problems are going on in the U.S. 在世界各地. 整体, Aphrodite has helped me better explain and persuade people of the situations I am most passionate about. She has helped me focus on what is important in my studies and further life decisions. 她帮助我专注于成为一个能看到故事各个方面的人, 谁会听相反的意见, 谁会试着去理解和我不同的人的挣扎, 谁有耐心在做出判断之前找出全部真相. “Become a better neighbor” can really strike the minds of many people, as it did to myself. Her words are passionate and inspiring and I hope to be able to pass on that motivation to myself and people around me.