Today is the last day we will be considered “European”. For me and others, especially Muslims it’s bleak times. Outside of the inconvenience factors of being outside the EU; travel, insurance etc, the biggest factor will be potentially an unleashed, licensed form of Xenophobia. It is now socially acceptable to be Islamophobic, with a leader who refuses to acknowledge, let alone apologise for his racism, and now we from tomorrow are left in fear of what will happen next. Possible expulsion, protests, racial slurs, in other words nothing really pleasant for sure.
So what now? What do we do? Well as most things in life, we can only focus on what we can control. I will for certainty continue to smile in face of such animosity, continue to work hard, continue to practice and keep my faith intact and most importantly continue to not only build but strengthen the bridges I have built. I will shield my son as best I can, but still educate him on the world, and give him the tools to a better person to rise above. Give him the courage and belief that to do the right thing has to be greater than having fear. After all his generation will be the ones left.
I have been blessed to be able travel to almost every single European country and capital. I have been met with mostly peace and love. Those moments will be cherished, and kept as a reminder that there is always hope. Thank you.
No matter what though… I still ardently believe when there’s love, smile and a coffee there’s no room for fear to have any power.