Thursday, 2 September 2010

There's No Place Like Home

You put the key into your front door, turn the lock and walk in, kick of your shoes and sit down on your compfy sofa. Ahh..... it is good to be home, do you know, so many of us take that moment for granted.

Many people are displaced in this world, often due to conflicts that have risen around them and engulfed their every day lives, conflicts generaly caused by a bigger power pulling the strings much further away than the fields they plough and land they nuture.

Though thankfully as yet, I have never had to endure the attrocities of war, I do know what it feels like to yearn every single day for that place that you know deap in your heart is home and for this reason I have always had an empathy with displaced people.
At age 11 having lived blissfully in the same house all my life,surrounded by the same friends, going to the same school and knowing the land and nature around me, I was put on a plane to England for what I thought was another annual holiday to see the grandparents. I was wrong.

My family abruptly left Kenya.

I was lucky, there was no barbed wire fencing, no guns and no tanks preventing me from the land of my birth, just years of inner turmoil and constant travel trying to find a place I could call home.

25 years later I made it back and there is no place like home.

In my travels around the world, I have met displaced people, heard their stories of how their mothers still hold the keys to a house they were dragged from kicking and screaming as a child, the only possesion they had was the teddy bear they had slept with, before the soliders, tanks and guns took away their lives and destroyed their dreams.

Last Sunday whilst on a day trip on the island, we accidently found ourselves on the UN buffer zone between Southern and Nothern Cyprus, and we looked across the fields to Famagusta, a city which due to the conflict of 1974 has been left ghost town for 36 years, with 45 thousand Greek and Turkish Cypriots displaced. It really hit me and sunk in how absoloutely awful it must be to loose everything you own, everything you have ever known and to see it all there but not be allowed through the barbed wire fence that some other force has put in place to keep you out. It must be totally and utterly soul destroying.

I whept....................... I whept for every innocent broken heart, shattered in a conflict they don't belong.

Standing there and seeing the empty desolate buildings of what was once a vibrant, buzzing tourist resort, slowly rotting in the sizzling shimmering heat, with the grass and foliage it's only life source, the cranes still in the same place that they where left, building new hotels, back in August 1974 ....... quite frankly it was a SHOCKING realisation that this seemingly tranquill idylic island has seen some horrific, horrendous times.

May all the worlds displaced people one day feel the soil between their toes and smell the earth from which they came. May the red tape of bureaucracy and the barbed wire fences of armies one day be removed so that everyone has the freedom to go home.

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