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Mauritania: Let's Talk About the M'bera Camp!

Before I start blaming the UNHCR and others, as well as the underlying philosophy, I will begin by examining what is wrong with us in this matter. When someone brings a problem to you and your only response is to point fingers at a foreign organization on your soil, it is safe to say that you are likely the problem.

So, what is the problem at hand?

A neighboring country facing a threat that endangers the entire region sees some of its residents fleeing to Mauritania. Personally, I don't see a problem.

I see people seeking refuge and assistance in my country, among my people.

What an honor!

They are just people. Humans. Whose fundamental needs we presumably know since we share the same ones. What are we talking about? Shelters, houses, places to live, organization for educating children and integrating adults into the job market, either by providing direct employment or by facilitating the establishment of economic activities.

The purpose of genuine assistance is to ensure the legal means of subsistence and the preservation of a person's autonomy or independence.

The nature, quality, and value of this assistance are measured by the type of solidarity and hospitality you have provided.

If what people have seen and felt from you is indifference and neglect, do not expect praise. Ultimately, everything you will have done can be summarized as follows: Mauritania and the Mauritanians have made available to their neighbors and brothers from Mali a territory the size of a neighborhood, which foreign organizations administer and where they exercise their version of solidarity and hospitality.

Please do not use the excuse of poverty and destitution. Nothing can justify such behavior. It is an attitude of cowardice and disbelief.

Our vision of solidarity and hospitality is not represented in international organizations. It is not our values that dominate the international community.

Institutional and administrative reception will never replace genuine human hospitality.

For one, it is a question of logistics, criteria, and statistics; for the other, it is a question of principle, honor, and conviction.

International organizations do not exempt us from providing true hospitality or even a housing plan to properly receive refugees. A healthcare plan to ensure their well-being and allow them to maintain a semblance of normalcy in their lives. An educational and employment plan to introduce and facilitate their integration into the education system and job market.

International organizations should only support the government's plans in this regard. They should provide funding or co-funding, monitor the proper implementation, and ensure the administrative continuity of the refugees vis-à-vis the Mauritanian and Malian authorities.

Hospitality does not mean leaving children under 10 years old begging at the intersections of our capital. It cannot and should not happen. None of this is consistent with the teachings I received as a child.

I was taught that poverty does not justify stinginess. What five people can eat, ten can eat as well. There is no greater blessing than sharing, even when there isn't much to share.

That is what makes us human. Humanity.

So what happened? Did only the departed Mauritians have a conscience? Do we need to live in cemeteries to regain a real sense of life?

Let me tell you what I see: whole lambs that you devour, stuffed with rice or fragrant couscous, along with all the appetizers and desserts you indulge in with friends and relatives.

Ultimately, everything you ingest is either fuel, poison, or rot. Fuel because your body needs energy, poison because you intoxicate your body with future illnesses, and finally, rot because the rest ends up in your toilets.

Food, money, power, offspring mean nothing if you don't know what they're for.

When you're just a passage, a broken vessel, a leaky old wine skin. Everything passes through us, nothing remains; fortunately, the winds of history dissipate the trace of such an existence.

To provide dignified assistance with respect, that should be the motto. Even if we had to build hundreds of thousands of homes, where would the problem be?

Space? Resources? Willpower?

Regarding space, I believe that argument is stillborn. As for resources, it is time to put to good use your long-admired talent for begging. And as for willpower, I know that your legendary laziness, which I have inherited myself, causes you much harm, but waking up once every hundred years should be an attainable goal.

What should we do with the homes after the refugees return to their own country?

This question should not even cross my mind. We have thousands of poorly housed individuals, people who do not have access to private property, elderly poor people without families.

There will be no shortage of applicants. Nor will there be a shortage of possibilities for repurposing.

The questions that come to my mind regarding our collective affiliation with a system of ideas and beliefs are as follows:

If you manage to flourish and find success in a society corrupted to the core, what does that mean?

If you seek the approval of your peers, and those peers are despicable individuals, what does that say?

If you actively want to perpetuate an unjust system because it serves your interests and those of your own, who do you think you are?

Life is a marathon, not a sprint. None of us are indispensable to finish it. Few will have the honor of serving a cause other than their own on this earth.

We are not special.

We are barely ants or bees. Each of these creatures is useful to its society and faithfully follows its reason for existence.

At the end of this experience, it is our true nature that will be revealed for all to see.

Our courage or our cowardice. Our truths or our lies. Our selfishness or our altruism. Our pleasures or our responsibilities.

The rest is vanity.


« Ce n'est pas par jeu que Nous avons créé le ciel et la terre et ce qui est entre eux. » (Coran, 21: 16)
« Pensiez- vous que Nous vous avions créés sans but, et que vous ne seriez pas ramenés vers Nous?" (Coran, 23 : 115-116).
« Celui qui a créé la mort et la vie afin de vous éprouver (et de savoir) qui de vous est le meilleur en œuvre,

et c'est Lui le Puissant, le Pardonneur. » (Coran, 67 : 2).

« Et rappelle ; car le rappel profite aux croyants. Je n’ai créé les djinns et les hommes que pour qu’ils m’adorent. » (Coran, 51 : 55-56)
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