Albert Russo
"Art is but a moment of happiness, it is like a lightning of bliss cleaving the never-ending horrors of our world."

The solidarity of rich Muslim countries

Europe has been flooded with nearly a million migrants in just a few months, and the flow continues.  Poor souls are fleeing their countries from three continents, either because of extreme poverty, lack of freedom, internecine conflicts, religious wars, and the scourge of our 21st century, the so-called Caliphate which purports to invade the whole planet in order to impose its horrendous medieval-style laws, the infamous Sharia’h.

We all know that Europe is in deep crisis, it has been so since 2008: thousands of young people, many with university degrees, can’t find jobs in their homelands, which they are forced to leave for greener pastures, mainly overseas.  Even the retirees of the middle classes are looking for new places to live more decently, for, with their pensions, having diminished considerably, they can no longer afford the life they had expected to lead, not to mention the very rich who are deserting countries like Greece, Italy, Spain, and even France, where taxes have become prohibitive, not only for them – they are certainly not to be pitied – but for every segment of the population.

The majority of the migrant families come from Muslim countries and believe that Europe is, if not an Eldorado, at least a welcoming continent, where they will be able to work, feed their children, and have a proper roof over their heads, until, until … – that is their legitimate hope -, they can return to their former homes, once there is peace again.

Many Europeans still bear a guilty feeling because their forebears were colonialists and, worse even, slave-traders.  In the meantime, of course, Europe, and the West in general, have become the most democratic area of the world.  But that sentiment has turned into a very unhealthy and never-ending Mea Culpa, the more so since a number of immigrants play on this complex in order to justify claims they would never have dreamt of voicing in their countries of origin.  I like to compare a nation like India and the Maghreb region which comprises Algeria, Morocco, and Tunisia, former French colonies.  Indians are advancing and building a modern and democratic society, in spite of its many hurdles and sometimes formidable difficulties.  Nowadays the Indians and the British, who had ruled over the latter until 1947, respect and even admire each other, whereas a great number of French politicians and especially intellectuals, who are or were originally Christian, feel either ashamed in front of their Muslim compatriots or, on the contrary, aggressive, which in turn pushes some of the latter to be over-demanding, creating thus a very vicious circle.

This guilty feeling appears nonexistent among the descendants of the Ottoman Empire, or at least among the current Turkish regime, for it still won’t recognize and consequently refuses to be blamed for the Armenian genocide perpetrated during and after the First World War, in which over a million people were tortured and murdered.  Neither do the Arabs bother to mention the tens of millions of Africans they have enslaved during centuries, up to the present day, whether in places like Mauritania, Saudi Arabia or the Emirates, in which the world’s most luxurious skyscrapers are being built with the blood and the sweat of thousands of foreign workers who are treated like forced laborers, and from whom the passports are taken away so that they won’t complain.  And what with the abductions of hundreds of young girls and young boys, and the killing of thousands of people of all religions carried on by the Boko Haram, Al Qaida and Daesh terrorists.

Why don’t the petrol-rich nations of Saudi Arabia, of Algeria, of the United Arab Emirates, of Bahrein, of Brunei, or even prosperous Malaysia and Indonesia, offer their downtrodden coreligionists, so ill-treated in Africa, in the Middle East and in parts of Asia, safe asylum?

Look at the size of Saudi Arabia or of Algeria – Africa’s largest country -, the wealth of the Emirates.  The latter are so proud of owning the tallest and most magnificent buildings in the world, yet, as everyone knows, there are countless unoccupied rooms in them.  Couldn’t they be used to host some of these poor souls who are rotting in squalid tents in Jordan, Lebanon, or Turkey – their governments are to be commended, particularly the former two which bear the brunt when they themselves have huge problems and struggle for survival.

And last, but not least: do you know that Israel treats for free hundreds of wounded people who cross the border every day from Syria and even from Gaza and the West Bank, which it has occupied for too long?  Why doesn’t anyone blame Morocco for occupying Western Sahara (a former Spanish colony), denying its people to be free?  The same applies to Turkey, Syria, and Irak (or whatever is left of them), which won’t let the thirty-odd million Kurds gain their independence.

Where is the solidarity of the rich Muslim countries?

About the Author
Albert Russo who has published worldwide over 85 books of poetry, fiction and essays (35) and photography (50), in both English and French, his two mother tongues, and sometimes in Italian, (Italian being his 'paternal' tongue) - he also speaks Spanish and German and still has notions of Swahili -, is the recipient of many awards,such as The New York Poetry Forum and Amelia (CA) Awards, The American Society of Writers Fiction Award, The British Diversity Short Story Award, The AZsacra International Poetry Award (Taj Mahal Review - US$ 500), the Books & Authors Award, several Writer’s Digest poetry and fiction Awards (winner and finalist), aquillrelle Awards, the Prix Colette and the Prix de la Liberté, among others. His work has been translated into about 15 languages in 25 countries, on the five continents. He has co-published Gaytude with Adam Donaldson Powell, which won Best Gay Book in the USA. Albert Russo’s major books are the AFRICAN QUATUOR (AQ), his memoir CALL ME CHAMELEON (CMC), his humorous ZAPINETTE Series (Zapy), GOSH ZAPINETTE, the first ever series of global Jewish humor, his books of stories and of poetry encompassing 40 years of writing, entitled: THE CROWDED WORLD OF SOLITUDE, vol. 1 -CWS1 (the stories and essays) and THE CROWDED WORLD OF SOLITUDE, vol. 2 (the poems) CWS2 + the two big books dedicated to his beloved mother Sarah Russo (SR) + about 50 books of photos. His definitive biography penned by the Norwegian African-American writer, poet and artist Adam Donaldson Powell, UNDER THE SHIRTTAILS OF ALBERT RUSSO was released by l’Aleph (November 2017), Wisehouse Publishing. A humanist with roots in Central, Southern Africa, and the Mediterranean, he has been acclaimed by James Baldwin, Edmund White, Martin Tucker, Douglas Parmee of Oxford University, Joseph Kessel, Pierre Emmanuel, both of the Académie Française, among many other literary authorities, as well as by his African peers, Chinua Achebe among them. Albert Russo was also a member of the 1996 jury for the Neustadt International Prize for Literature which often leads to the Nobel Prize of Literature. Latest Prize: Best 2013 Unicef Short Story award in defense of childhood worldwide, for Revenge by proxy / Vengeance par procuration.  His 50-odd books of photography have garnered awards in the USA, UK, Russia, France, etc. Some of his work has been exhibited in the Louvre Museum, at the Espace Pierre Cardin, both in Paris, in Times Square, New York, at the Museum of Photography in Lausanne, Switzerland, in Art Berlin, in Tokyo, in Moscow, etc. The former Mayor of the Big Apple, Mr Bloomberg, has lauded his two photo books on Paris and New York. Some of his novels and memoirs have also been filmed in English, with videos 90 and 100 minutes long. Latest award: I have just received the following award. "Dear Albert, It is with great pleasure to announce that you have been selected as a Book Excellence Award Finalist for the following book: 'GOSH ZAPINETTE! the first ever series of global humor’ (770 pages). There were hundreds of entries from around the world and 'GOSH ZAPINETTE! the first ever series of global humor' was selected for its high-quality writing, design and market appeal. Congratulations. The Book Excellence Award Committee.” The Book Excellence Awards Advantage. More than just an awards competition, the Book Excellence Awards provides authors and publishers with extended support and resources on topics such as publishing, marketing, writing, publicity and social media. The Book Excellence Awards is a smart investment on your publishing journey and the results and benefits will last a lifetime! Literary website: - "Art is but a moment of happiness, it is like a lightning of bliss cleaving the never-ending horrors of our world." Albert Russo “Inspiration is like delicious food that your taste buds remember, or a perfume you have long forgotten and whose whiff suddenly brushes your nostrils again, giving you pangs of nostalgia.” Albert Russo