It felt like Groundhog Day. I was astounded watching a TV One news item about New Zealand Immigration refusing visas to two young Ethiopians who were to be sponsored here by a group of retired professionals. It was two years (almost to the day) that I’d written a very emotional and indignant piece about the humiliation and disappointment my family had experienced when we wanted to host relatives from Egypt for a special holiday.
Posts by Robyn Yousef
Islam says that all guests should be welcomed and treated with kindness and respect – Muslim or non-Muslim. Haji Daoud Nabi was at Christchurch’s Al Noor Mosque door and welcomed the shooter in to worship last Friday.
“Welcome brother,” were the last words he said before he was shot. I have heard and read so many stories about this tragedy that have torn at my heart but, it’s this scenario which keeps running and rerunning in my head. And , it’s been made even more poignant for me after seeing a photograph of Haji , a kindly elderly Afghan man with a beautiful little girl who looks so like our own grandchild.
“Where is that little fecking orange pill? You repacked – where did you put it?”
Picture this scenario: You’re at a large Asian Airport after a difficult flight from Auckland. The plane was packed to the gunnels, dominated by groups travelling in packs and a child kicked your back consistently through the 10-hour trip from hell. Now you are searching through your luggage with a panicked urgency.
I could write a whole catalogue of clichés to describe the beauty of Omapere and the impact it has had on my life. But, let’s just start with a couple – it’s a beautiful jewel on the Hokianga Harbour, which has totally taken my heart.
“Oma-where, Oma-what. Where the hell is this Omapere?” I remember saying.
“Attention Please: We are a safety-conscious airport. Please do not let your children play near the escalators.”
The first time I heard this message over the PA system at Christchurch Airport I was impressed. The woman spoke in dulcet tones and I agreed wholeheartedly with the message. Unsupervised children and escalators can be a lethal mix.
It’s been described by many as Samoa’s “architectural gem” and sits proudly in Apia’s centre with a beacon-like dome overlooking the harbour. And the Catholic Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception of Mary is not only a very significant building but is also an important tourist attraction.