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In the other’s place

Fernanda Mira*

His name is Ameer and he’s an Afghan. He guides his life through the commitment to guarantee a better life for his two daughters.

Commitment, I say, assumed by those of descent. “Yours will be better than mine” is transversal to ethnic groups, tribes, countries, continents, hemispheres. All parents want and do everything to make their children have a better life.

For Ameer, this mission proved even more complicated than for those who live on the right side of the world. He lives in a country that breathes war and poverty around every corner. Solution: Leave. Find money to pay traffickers who put his family and himself on a boat to Australia. Losing half the family along the way and ending up with a 12-year-old daughter in a refugee detention center on Australian soil. It is not enough to be honest. You have to prove it. Over and over. What matters? The ‘role’ that allows his daughter to study, grow up with the possible dream of being whoever she wants.

His name is Ameer and he is one of the characters in a miniseries (Stateless) just released on the Netflix platform.

Ameer (masterfully represented by actor Fayssal Bazzi) is the face of the majority of the 70 million displaced people who seek refuge from wars and struggle with lawsuits in detention centers around the world.

How many of us would be able to survive the violence, mostly psychological. a refugee detention center? I venture to say: few.

When international agencies or NGOs inform us that there are millions (and more and more) of displaced people, refugees, try to remember that they all have a name, a history. It is, perhaps for this reason, that this small miniseries impresses and leads us to question: one day I could be me …

Whatever else, fiction is worth us to force ourselves to put ourselves in the other’s place.

*Publisher of the Portuguese edition of Plataforma

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