Introducing Humanity Crew: A Palestinian Response to EU Refugee Crisis

September 13th, 2016 5:02 pm

HadjeHadje Cresencio Sadje is an associate member in the Center for Palestine Studies-SOAS University of London UK. He is currently a master student at the Protestant Theological University-Groningen and has been working with various professional and faith-based organisation including, PhISO, Peace Builders Community Philippines, and the Foundation University-Amsterdam The Netherlands. 

Social race leads to social exclusion and isolation. Today, only the strongest species survive. Our everyday life is like a rat race. Social exclusion has long formed part of human civilization and, though it seemed to go into hiding after the Second World War, now rears its head again. The mantra of social Darwinists, ‘survival of the fittest’ spread among technocrats and policy makers. For example, global corporate elites with its constant calls for free market competition leads to transform our society into a jungle zone. People are forced to be competitive in order to survive. Therefore, competition is the name of the game. Individual were cut off from the communal source of life. Not all surprising some people think that being a collectivist person is out of date.

Photo by Hadje Sadje

Photo by Hadje Sadje

A famous American economist Joseph Stiglitz observes, ‘…a society in which materialism overwhelms moral commitment’ because ‘[m]arket fundamentalism has eroded any sense of community’. The advances of market principle have led to the virtue of new world order that human being are defined into ‘competitive’ and ‘not competitive’. As the world become more competitive the more people have fewer opportunities and chances to get a modest life. Obviously, the global corporate elite provides great opportunities and social benefits for competitive individuals. As we have seen that human solidarity is no longer a social principle and moral virtue, for the rest are misfits and outcasts. It is profit in particular, represented the paramount danger to human solidarity. Undeniably, everyone seems to be on their own now. Human solidarity has been replaced by commodity and competition.  

Even so, and against all odds The Humanity Crew challenge the social Darwinist dominant culture. In 2015, when EU refugee crisis broke out, the massive boatloads of refugees and migrants to seek asylum made their risky journey to Europe and by traveling across the Mediterranean Sea. On one side, EU refugee crisis harbor different reactions and responses from European Union. The crisis evoked a sense of solidarity among Palestinians on the other. On the same year, the Humanity Crew responds to EU crisis by organizing and recruiting volunteer Palestinian doctors, psychologists, and young professionals. Reason for this, to provide psycho-socio interventions for Arab refugee children. The Humanity Crew believe that socio-cultural backgrounds of the EU refugees are one of the bloodlines of the organization. Humanity Crew notes, ‘coming from similar social-cultural backgrounds as the refugees, and communicating in the same language, Arabic, we are in a unique position to provide in-depth and sustained support’. As Dr. Essam Daod one of the co-founders narrated:

‘We realized that there was no one who really understood these people, understood their language. A child lying in bed after being rescued at sea, having lost his parents and having no one to speak to, having no one to tell him where he is and what is happening with him or where his parents are. A child is lying in bed as if he were dead, as if he separated his soul from his body, in order to survive.

Many people can provide emergency medical aid, but we can give something else: we can reconnect the body and the soul, we can support and embrace. We decided to be a safe haven for them, to try and see them, to ask them how they feel, to call out for their soul to come back.’


Photo: Humanity Crew 2016

By providing a psycho-social aspect, Humanity Crew is one of the prime forces in launching a humanitarian movement in Chios and Lesvos Islands, Greece.

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