About Tragedies of Deaths at Sea: Empathy Gone Cold

As the world gets worried about the terrible faith of people who went under the ocean and never came back, I see and feel the empathy and the fear of the feeling that is not being able to come out for air. The irony of the destiny someone accidentally tragically created for themselves hits hard. In search of adventure, they have sadly lost their lives, which is devastating. It is tragic and I feel so sorry for these lost people, and the news about a young person who was there. At the same time, we are warned, the world did not show the same empathy for 500 or even more refugees that lost their lives at sea.

How do we measure lives, how do we measure care?

For those who like to measure, their tragedy in numbers is beyond devastating. Their “numbers” show youth. It is a new layer of sadness when we have to reach for numbers to prove the value of life. What their story shows should break our hearts. So why won’t the hearts all over the world break for them?   I feel shame and guilt as a human over this state of our hearts.   There’s a report of a man who went on such a trip in search of a better life and cures for his son, a child with cancer. What I found in an Al Jazeera article:   Among the Syrians still missing is a father who was desperately seeking cancer treatment for his son, Al Jazeera has learned.   Thaer al-Rahal, a 39-year-old who hails from the city of Inkhil, in the Daraa countryside, was a resident of the sprawling Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan.   “Thaer did not like the idea of travelling to Europe, and he always dreamed of returning to his hometown. But the search for a cure for his son who had cancer prompted him to turn to the treacherous sea,” his cousin, Abdul Rahman al-Rahal, told Al Jazeera.”  

From <https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2023/6/22/syrians-among-the-hundreds-dead-in-shipwreck-off-coast-of-greece>  

There were young people on board.   There is the factor of their tragedy that stings and pierces through the disturbed logic of our reality: they didn’t just choose to go for an adventure, their life circumstances forced them.

So what as a community of those who are well off in this world, can we do to change their circumstances for the better, to help, and to stop the opposite?   I don’t have the answers, but I do know the beginning is to stop our day for a minute at least, in this world of fast information, and allow our hearts to care. For a moment at least. And to allow ourselves to check what becomes from this caring.   I don’t have a brilliant message, but I do want to say may they rest in peace and condolences to the families and friends of those who died in both accidents and those who keep dying.   May things get better, and may we find more ways to make better decisions, for ourselves and for our fellow humans of this world.  



Sanja Ivandic
Outside Multicultural Magazine Co-founder and Author

Sanja Ivandic is one of the Co-Founders of Outside Multicultural Magazine. Sanja relocated to Ireland from Bosnia and Herzegovina. From Ireland she relocated to Germany. Inspired by the Sligo Intercultural Project she managed for a while, as well as her work in various NGOs such as LEDA and World Vision, this Magazine was born.

Sanja wrote for several magazines, enjoys every form of writing, be it poems, case studies or prose. Her special skills lie in inclusive marketing.

Sanja’s words on multiculturalism: “Multiculturalism for me is a synonym for humanity. Being diverse and similar at the same time is who we are and we must never forget it. Remembering this evokes respect, love, and peace, so we must keep reminding ourselves about the word multicultural”.


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