Xenophobia is typically defined as a fear and suspicion of foreigners. As a behaviour, those who fall victim to this are usually searching for a better life, seeking asylum or are refugees fleeing grinding poverty and persecution.
It is no secret that small pockets of xenophobia are rearing their ugly heads in Trinidad and Tobago. Increasingly, foreigners, so-called strangers in our midst, are experiencing behaviours ranging from indifference and alienation to open hostility and even threats. Clearly, we need a return to hospitality as envisioned by Archbishop Harris in his pastoral letter of 2017.
Welcome! Why did you leave your country, your family, your language and your food behind? What has been your experience back home and what are your individual and collective stories? This kind of engagement is not the way many of us are treating with foreigners in our midst.