Latest from Anna Lekas Miller
What does it take for a city to rebuild and heal its wounds? Berlin was once a war zone, a divided city with stories of people separated from their loved ones, sheltering from bombs and being smuggled to safety. Now it is a refuge — though not always a kind one — for people who fled these experiences much more recently.
In the same way the film draws attention to the journey more than 1 million people have taken to seek refuge in Europe, a series that dug further into the contrast between the two swimmers could have shone light on the way humanitarian workers are criminalized and mobilized global solidarity to drop the charges against Sara Mardini.
While falling in love with a Jewish citizen of Israel would be straightforward — marrying an Israeli citizen entitles one to a residency permit and eventual citizenship — falling in love with a Palestinian in the occupied West Bank is a different story.
Historically in the U.S., controlling immigration and access to abortion went hand in hand, reinforcing racial hierarchies. Nowhere is this more evident than in eugenics, where advocates pushed the idea that access to contraception could keep poor and “unfit” women from having more children.
This isn’t just a show about being Arab or Muslim American and caught between two worlds. It is also about a broken immigration system and the unnecessary hardship it causes thousands of people who call the United States home.
It might seem strange that Arabs, like Mexicans before them, want to stop being counted on the census as “white.” But with everything from political districts to federal funds depending on being in a particular box, to be white is merely to be invisible.
In Islam, abortion is permissible in many cases, like fear of not providing for the child. Sex outside of marriage also falls into this category. One fatwa states that abortion is fine for a single mother, maybe even better if she will face social stigma.
Five years, three countries, and a pile of immigration paperwork later, I can honestly say that borders have shaped, challenged, and strengthened our love for one another. Still, I know that borders could have just as easily broken us.