Mustafa* stands in front of the table, and he is looking at me. I just gave him the card of the NGO called Projekt Seehilfe e.V. with which I am in Catania, Sicily. Initially, I just gave it to his friend, who was much more talkative and who appeared to be interested. However, because he was standing right next to him, it felt wrong not to give him one as well. Holding the card, he looks like he does not know what to do with it. Timidly, he laughs. It seems that my assessment was correct. He stands in front of me, says thank you and looks me in the eyes. We didn’t even talk during the whole dinner, and I had the impression that he was just about to leave. We start talking.
I am a member of an NGO called Projekt Seehilfe e.V. that supports refugees in Sicily with materialistic and idealistic help. Last year, I was one of three people that went to Sicily, together with another NGO from Germany, called Hanseatic Help e.V. In April this year, we will go there and help yet again. In Sicily, I wrote two texts that summarized what I experienced, thought and felt when I was confronted with a type of problem that nowadays plays an important role in Europe. Since the texts are in German, I will translate them into English for this blog. You can find one of the two original articles, the one translated below, here.
I stumbled across a recent research article published in Science magazine, called ‘How economic, humanitarian, and religious concerns shape European attitudes toward asylum seekers’ by Kirk Bansak, Jens Jainmueller, and Dominik Hangartner. This article struck my attention because I find the topic very interesting, because it was an experiment and not ‘just’ an empirical investigation of data, and because they decided to present their findings not only in a boring regression table, but in a colorful ropeladder plot.