Monday, 27 August 2012
Specialist workers who are not interested in living in the "next China"


Apparently some people haven't got the memo that Africa is the "next China" and in the throes of an economic super-boom. El País has an article today focusing on the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Africans camped out in the Moroccan woods near the frontier with Spanish Melilla [the other Lampedusa], waiting to cross into Europe. Some of them have been there for months, even years.
“Life in the woods is very difficult, very hard. At least it's summer now. In winter it's cold, and we don't have anything to cover up with. When it rains, we have to endure downpours on our heads. If a shoe breaks, there's no spare and you go barefoot till you find another, probably broken too. Washing ourselves is complicated. We can only go into the villages and throw some water on ourselves from some bottle. We don't eat well. We don't sleep well. We survive however we can. Badly."
These people would pay your pension if you'd let them

It's fascinating to see that they have organised themselves into ghettos even before arriving in Europe! And that they, too, prefer to live amongst their own kind, organising themselves into groups based on their countries of origin.
...The woods have their rules. Individual and collective. It's a place where nothing can go wrong, if you want to survive. The sub-Saharans, the majority very young, around 20 years old, are organised into units which they call ghettos. [!] These are small groups separated by nationalities. In one area of the woods there are various councils: one for the Ivory coast, another for Mali, another for Cameroon…

...But there are those who left a job in their own country to look for a better life and now they regret it. “I had a job in Mali, a wife and a baby”, says Mohamed, 21. “I sold fish. I'm fed up being here. If I could, I would go back home. But I can't. The police took a bag with my things in it and now I don't have a passport." Others say that they don't have the money to make the return trip, or any way of obtaining it.

...In all cases, whether closer to the frontier or further away, everyone has the same objective: Melilla. “I don't know how but I am sure I'll manage it someday," says Alou. "Inshallah". If God wills.

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