Saturday, July 02, 2016

Among other things, perhaps the nicest thing ever said about Canada?

Two days ago the Globe and Mail published "Finding a home, away from home," perhaps one of the best articles that it has ever published in my nearly 40 years of reading the paper. It was by Ian Brown, who also showed himself in championship form, and it concerned Syrian refugees in Canada, and the Canadians who have helped them settle here. It struck me as a very balanced account. About halfway through the article this passage appeared, and it struck me as perhaps the most complimentary thing ever said about the country.
When Omer and Aliye register for their health cards, the clerk asks if they want to be organ donors. Islamic scholars are divided on the permissibility of organ transplants, although compassion and saving a life trump doctrine. For that reason live transplants tend to be more common in Islamic societies than the use of organs that have been harvested from dead bodies. It’s a rich and complicated subject. In any event, Aliye declines.
But Omer says yes. Aliye speaks to him in Arabic, and explains the situation, as she sometimes does. The translator checks twice, as well, to make sure Omer knows what is being asked of him. But Omer says yes again.
“This is what they do here, in Canada,” Omer replies. “I am in Canada.”
Of course there is room for a lot of ambiguity in interpreting this episode, but read the whole article, which is among other things about generosity.

No comments:

Post a Comment