Tuesday, 16 March 2010

The Colour of Blood

I have a friend* who has a done a most wonderful thing. A month ago he added to his family by travelling to Africa and adopting an orphaned child.

There will always be the argument about taking children out of their cultures - but there can never wholly be an absolute right or an absolute wrong when what stares you back in the face is a two month old child, severely undernourished, sick and weak. What choice do we make when faced with this dilemma?

Perhaps the 'ideal' solution is to move to the country so that a child can be raised amongst their own cultural kind, but it is never that easy - conflict zones have their own dangers and people often make the choice to move to places where opportunities and resources are more plentiful.

Anyway, here in the UAE, there are the usual immigration rules. The child was allowed in, but yesterday, the now three month old child had to leave the country to make a border crossing to revalidate his visa. Three months old. This would not be the case had the child been a British, US, Canadian, Australian or New Zealand national.

Intercontinental adoptions aside, one day, I hope, that extra privileges are not determined by things like colour of skin, passport or national identity. After all, African, Asian or white European cut the surface and then observe underneath - we all have the same colour of blood.

*he is a Pashtoon, point of fact

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