On the 17th of July, 2017, I wrote the essay below for a writing competition regarding immigration. I ended up winning the competition from Malta and Gozo. The prize was to visit Lampedusa, a small Italian island south of Malta, and participate in the L’Europa Inizia a Lampedusa project. I wanted to share the essay with you. So here it is.
I am not originally from Malta; I am from New York where I was born and raised. My parents are both Maltese. My family and I moved to Malta when I was nine years old. I am a proud citizen ofthe United States of America. I am a citizen of the United States of America because my parents immigrated to the United States and made me who I am, thus I am forever indebted to my parents. Immigration is a subject I like to discuss.
When I was eight years old, my mother took my sister and me to Ellis Island. Ellis Island is where all of the immigrants were taken to before entering the United States in the late nineteenth century and half of the twentieth century. The immigrants would be petrified that they would be rejected at Ellis Island and would be sent back to their country. Millions of people immigrated to the United States since the United States was the country of hope and freedom.
Today, my country is practically built of people who settled there and made the United States their home in which later generations made it their home too.
Immigration still happens today however things are not as easy.
Immigration has become a touchy subject nowadays. Most people leave their country nowadays only to seek security. Millions of people have left their homes and family members to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach safety. It is ironic that these people are then shunned, discriminated and treated horribly. Xenophobia still exists unfortunately. Due to the large masses of people entering Europe these past fewyears, people have come to consider them a threat and feel violated. However, it is incredibly progressive that many youths are becoming more accepting and tolerant towards these people. Due to educative methods, young people are less unaccepting towards these people. In the following years when my generation becomes the generation which leads this world, I believe that society will become more open-minded and tolerable. Maybe it will be my generation that will stop the conflict and hatred. However having history as a subject at school has taught me that war is extremely hard to get rid of.
Throughout this past year, I have kept up to date with the events of the General Election in the United States. The General Election created havoc and chaos. Today, discrimination is running wild. Living in 2017 has taught me that even though the great powerful countries of the world are democratic, for some reason there is still conflict. The reason why, according to my views, is that us humans have never learned from history. My country faced critical times when women and dark skinned people fought for their rights in which they gained however there still seems to be prejudice, discrimination and misogyny. I find it a disgrace that my country, which once was the country that accepted immigrants more easily, is now closing its doors to those immigrants in need of safety.
It breaks my heart that politicians do not care to make a difference in the world by uniting everyone together. However, I do understand that these politicians are a small group who cannot influence everyone’s mind. Even though they have power, their power is limited when it comes to spreading good since unfortunately horrible things are more infectious. I do believe that it will take everyone to come to terms with the fact that we are one race and that we must unite together to be able to build an efficient and sustainable world where everyone lives in peace.
In Malta, many immigrants have been arriving on our small island seeking refuge. Many Maltese are accepting and many organizations do their best to help these people however the Maltese feel a great threat. Since these immigrants are not Catholic, the Maltese feel a threat to their religion which is a major part of Maltese culture and life. Since most people of the older generation have never experienced living amongstthese people, prejudice occurs.
I analyze the horrors a millennial like myself sees these days on social media and I cannot help myself but feel grateful that I live in good conditions as well as pity immigrants and others who do not make it to safety.
I wonder how we can stop these atrocities from happening.
I believe that there is a great want for peace and sometimes peace comes at a price. Peace may have to be forced and so war most probably occurs.
Power is something many people want nowadays however what one does with power is what defines that person, especially to the world.
I have come to realize one of my weaknesses. I believe it is hard for someone to realize one’s own weakness and actually admit it. I realized that I think that if I had the power of the world in my hands, I would be able to create equality, spread peace and bring justice. That is a weakness. Even though my want for power is for good intentions, it is still a weakness. I cannot control the world and the world might not agree with me.
Moreover, as a seventeen-year-old who is still growing and will someday face the world on her own, I must come to terms with the fact that there are people who suffer unfortunately due to what has been implemented in the minds of others and such things are poisonous. Why should innocent people suffer? That is the question I ask and the question you should ask too. The answer is complicated and unfair. Then, together you and I must unite to solve the problem. The solution is quite reasonable. And that, my friend, is the way we help these people.