Independence Day and Asylum Seekers in America

This 4th of July, we’re paying close attention to the American treatment of asylum-seekers and how it relates to our work here at Sitti. 

As a result of the Six Day War, 11,500 Palestinians fled to Jordan’s Jerash Refugee Camp in search of a safer existence for themselves and their families. Almost everything they owned was left behind. Families were separated, and some never reunited again.

(Pictured: refugees and displaced persons flee across the destroyed Allenby Bridge on June 15, 1967. Source: AP)

Today, families from South and Central America are seeking asylum in the United States. The experiences of these individuals are in many ways similar and/or worse than that which Palestinians endured 50 years ago. 

 

(Pictured: A migrant family, part of a caravan of thousands traveling from Central America to the United States, run from tear gas in front of the border wall between the U.S. and Mexico and Tijuana, Mexico on November 25, 2018. Photo by: Kim Kyung Hoon- Reuters) 

We are a company that supports fair treatment of all human beings, whether it is access to fair wage employment, access to healthcare, or access to education; these foundational human rights are part-and-parcel of the right to safety and security. We believe that when we deny our fellow human beings access to any of these rights, we are denying our shared existence as part of the same human race.

 

(Pictured: Portraits of Sitti soap artisan (l) Ikram, and her mother-in-law (r) Um Fatteh. Um Fatteh fled Gaza in 1967 alone with her children, including Ikram's husband. Today, they all live in the same house with Ikram's children/Um Fatteh's grandchildren in Jerash Camp.) 

Asylum-seeking is a human right. Plain and simple.

Sitti is grateful for a community of retailers and consumers that extends not only throughout the Middle East and Canada, but also coast-to-coast in the United States. We are proud to be a part of building and nurturing a global understanding of what it means to support fair wages and fair livelihoods for our fellow human beings, no matter where they are from in the world.

 

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