Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A World without Borders – a Myth or Reality?

I'm sure most of us heard about Reporter Sans Frontiéres, Cooks without Borders, Teachers without Borders, Doctors without Borders, Nurses without Borders, Engineers without Borders etc. Hmm, but what do you think about a World without Borders? Absolutely impossible! When I heard about it for the first time a few months ago, I was as cynical as anyone could be, but now I believe that it's possible that we could have a world without borders after I experienced its miniature version here in Stockholm’s suburb Akalla last week. By the way, how was your midsummer and where did you celebrated it? At a sommarstuga(summer cottage), on a fancy ferry cruise, at expensive hotels at home or abroad with close family and friends, at discotheques, at a cozy camping site or just in the middle of the wild nature? Well, I spent mine at the last one with hundreds of people from all over the world who were camping for a week (June 17th – June 24th) at the No Border Stockholm 2012 Camp. I think it's not only the most memorable midsummer celebration I’ve ever had in Sweden, but a life-changing experience.
I've been to a few well-furnished “camps” which
provide breakfast buffet, fine dining, sauna, jacuzzi etc. but none of them have given me the joy or a sense of belonging as the one at No Borders Stockholm.
I ate rustic but very tasty food served on metal plates, slept on a plain card-board with a group of straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual, butches, dykes, masculine, feminine people watching the sky through the holes of the old, big, green tent, enjoying cookies brought from dumpsters and hundreds of cups of tea around the campfire, chasing away mosquitoes, and a list of many other things that I would never forget for the rest of my life. I am honored and privileged to have met and talked with these goodhearted people whom the majority of the society looks down at.    

Never judge a book by its cover

Many of you may assume that the camp was just a disorganized, reckless stunt filled with trash everywhere; everything in the camp was done without much problem and in a decentralized manner, with efficient recycling mechanism and the farm was handed over back spotless to its owners as it was before. I felt like I was at the United Nations (U.N.) assembly every time I remember the different languages and various English accents. Hmm but I doubt people who either work for U.N. or attend its meetings have such diverse backgrounds as the ones at the No Border Camp.

Two Activists were out but one still in police custody

Nevertheless, the demonstrations didn't end without an incident: for example, three of over a dozen peaceful activists who were detained while protesting in front of the Solna Police Station on June 17th, were in police custody until the camp was closed down. Two were released after being sentenced to two weeks jail term and another one will be tried on Friday July 7, 2012.  

Final days but not the end

The camp was closed on 25th of June 2012, and it was difficult for everybody to say goodbye and go “home”.
I was sitting on the hills behind the camp with a heavy heart while the campers were taking down the big tents as well as their own. All of a sudden these white flocks of migratory birds landed on the open field; I've seen them coming and leaving for the past seven years but I have never thought about the parallels between those birds and us, human beings until that day. There are stationary birds like crows and pigeons which I see all year round – let's assume that they are Swedish birds, and these white migratory birds come every summer for some reason (mating, visiting distant relatives, vacation, 1001 reasons) from somewhere around the world, but as far as I remember they have never been chased away or detained by local crows and pigeons. All these birds with different colors, sizes, shades and shapes have been sharing everything on earth for thousands of years. Why can't, we the most “intelligent” animals, learn this important lesson from these creatures about how to live with each other in harmony? Our ancestors were moving and living wherever and whenever there was a need without being asked for papers or identity checks until 100 years ago. I dare say, yes, a world without borders is possible, if we are willing to destroy hundreds of superficial borders we created between ourselves.
No Border Stockholm closed down but it's not the end; it is rather a process and will be held from July 13th -22nd 2012 in Cologne, Germany: In case you want to get inspired and learn more, I recommend that you spend some time with these wonderful people around the globe. I wish I could go there, but unfortunately I have no proper traveling papers; I can't help it but feel that I wished I were one of those migratory birds. The earth belongs to everybody and there's only one race – the human race. Borders are the reasons of our sorrows that kill millions of fellow human beings and inflict unimaginable suffering on others everywhere from Russia to Iraq, from Eritrea to Chile, from Syria to Greece. Let's demolish these barriers to create a better world for everyone to live peacefully and in harmony. 


  1. this is a much needed reality,
    but myth and reality are not necessarily contradictions.
    any reality can become or come from myth

  2. thanks Kass for your time and feedback. am gonna watch the clip and hope to see your comments on my articles. best regards,
    Theodros A.