from the world's big
Pew Research Center data shows that most people think diversity improves lives in their countries.
Does diversity improve lives?<p>The center surveyed more than 28,000 peoples across Columbia, India, Jordan, Kenya, Lebanon, Mexico, Tunisia, Venezuela, Vietnam, South African, and the Philippines on their opinions of diversity within their borders. These countries were chosen based on their middle-income status, differing degrees of technology ownership, and high levels of migration (internal or external).</p><p>The survey asked respondents how they viewed increasing numbers of other races, religions, and nationalities and what effect that had on the quality of life in their countries. Additional questions were tailored to a country's unique demographics and circumstances.</p><p>For example, respondents in the Philippines were asked how favorably they viewed Muslims and Christians, while Tunisians were asked about Sunnis and Shiites. Others, such as Mexico and Lebanon, were asked about asylum seekers fleeing to their countries.</p><p>Pew found that "[a]cross the 11 countries surveyed, more said their countries are better off thanks to the increasing number of people of different races, ethnic groups, and nationalities who live there." A minority said the increase made no difference, and an even smaller minority said their country was worse off.</p>
Testing tribalism<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMzQwODQyMy9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTU5NDEzNjg3N30.Om1i_y--gXcX0pqzmIDUM2CJLsiP8gdZ-90k5C8dvKM/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C215%2C0%2C91&height=700" id="94fbb" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e05016b95976d40d499a0820b055e74b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="crowd of Syrian refugees" />
Lebanon and Jordan took in millions of Syrian refugees during the civil war, helping to explain their complex relationship with diversity in their borders.
Getting used to each other<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="cdee76bef43c85ed51018f8b6d8c0690"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7cmEwt4gxbc?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>So, what leads to improved views of multiculturalism? According to Pew's data, those with the most positive views on racial, ethnic, and religious diversity were those who interacted most with these groups. More contact equaled more positive views.</p><p>In all of the countries, younger adults were more likely to interact with people of different backgrounds, and except for Jordan, they also held more favorable views of others. The same held true for those who attained higher levels of education. </p><p>This data mirrors another Pew survey in which researchers asked Americans their views on increased racial and ethnic diversity.</p><p>Around 58 percent of Americans said increasing numbers of diverse people would make the United States a better place to live. Only 9 percent said it would make the country worse, while 31 percent said it didn't make a difference. Opinions were split along partisan lines, with more Democrats viewing the statement favorably than Republicans. </p><p>But like the 11 emerging countries, Americans varied by age and education, too. Fifteen percent of respondents 65 and older believed growing multiculturalism made the U.S. worse—the highest of any age group. And 70 percent of college graduates saw diversity in a positive light, compared to 45 percent of those with a high school diploma or less school.</p><p>The survey's complete results can be found <a href="https://www.pewresearch.org/global/2020/06/16/attitudes-toward-diversity-in-11-emerging-economies/" target="_blank">here</a>, while the survey on American attitudes on diversity is <a href="https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2018/06/14/most-americans-express-positive-views-of-countrys-growing-racial-and-ethnic-diversity/" target="_blank">here</a>.</p>
A future toward acceptance<p>These data suggest that the world hasn't succumbed to a <a href="https://bigthink.com/videos/tribalism-politics" target="_blank">new era of tribalism</a> and hate. Far from it. The beliefs of cosmopolitanism and ethics of diversity are, in fact, spreading across many of the world's emerging countries and will likely increase as <a href="https://www.npr.org/2018/11/15/668106376/generation-z-is-the-most-racially-and-ethnically-diverse-yet" target="_blank">subsequent generations</a> become more educated and integrated. That progress may be uneven, but it's real and measurable.</p><p>An appreciation of, even desire for, diversity won't end the tragic events that generate eye-catching headlines, but it can make our shared futures more manageable. As Kwame Anthony Apiah wrote in his book "Cosmopolitanism: Ethics in a World of Strangers": "I am urging that we should learn about people in other places, take an interest in their civilizations, their arguments, their errors, their achievements, not because that will bring us to agreement, but because it will help us get used to one another."</p>
The ability to interact peacefully and voluntarily provides individuals a better quality of life.
- In classical liberal philosophy, voluntary action says the scope of legitimate government authority is extremely narrow.
- While not all classical liberals agree on immigration policy, the question remains: What right does a government have to stop someone from moving to another country should they so choose?
- As an immigrant, himself, Georgetown University professor Peter Jaworski invites us to consider the freest countries in the world and examine the economic freedom and civil liberties their citizens enjoy.
Third on the Big Think 2019 countdown reveals this is what the world will be like if we do not act on climate change.
- The third most popular video of 2019 presents a frightening truth: The best-case scenario of climate change is that world gets just 2°C hotter, which scientists call the "threshold of catastrophe".
- Why is that the good news? Because if humans don't change course now, the planet is on a trajectory to reach 4°C at the end of this century, which would bring $600 trillion in global climate damages, double the warfare, and a refugee crisis 100x worse than the Syrian exodus.
- David Wallace-Wells explains what would happen at an 8°C and even 13°C increase. These predictions are horrifying, but should not scare us into complacency. "It should make us focus on them more intently," he says.
A new children's program may help displaced Syrian children find stability and belonging in their new communities.
- Sesame Workshop and the International Rescue Committee have partnered launch a Arabic version of Sesame Street named "Ahlan Simsim."
- The show will provide early learning education to refugee children who are robbed of their education when displaced from their communities.
- The show will include Arabic-speaking characters who are developed to "speak" to refugee children, providing psychologically beneficial media representation.
Welcome Sesame<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjEwODk4Mi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzODk2MzUzOH0.-xPdW0BhTc4kX0Iq_qQ5TB87z9jXrXj3shknQdRHL-A/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=357%2C188%2C0%2C450&height=700" id="be0e8" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="20cdd078a2b66d723a38783512f1319b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Photo source: media.defense.gov<p>Earlier this month, Sesame Workshop (the educational nonprofit organization behind<em> Sesame Street</em>) and the <a href="https://www.rescue.org/" target="_blank">International Rescue Committee</a> (IRC) announced that they partnered up to launch a new program called "Ahlan Simsim," or "Welcome Sesame" in Arabic. The show is aimed at providing early learning education to refugee children who are robbed of their education when displaced from their communities.</p><p>According to the IRC, nearly half of the 12 million people who have been displaced due to the ongoing civil war in Syria are children. Yet, according to IRC president and CEO David Miliband in <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/sesame-street-international-rescue-committee-help-syria-refugee-children-60-minutes-2019-11-17/" target="_blank">an interview</a> on <em>60 Minutes</em>, less than 2 percent of all funding for humanitarian aid goes to education. </p>
Representation Matters<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMjEwODk4Ny9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMjM3NzUzOH0.QhxQW8WsW4__JgH_sh298MJfaLOMQa3EQVBB6cA5I_Y/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=82%2C105%2C107%2C1&height=700" id="895e8" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="cf4a208dd7522d881a8652ce3b9d39a4" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" /><p><em>Ahlan Simsim</em>, which was locally-produced, will be aimed at children ages 3–8 and, according to Sesame Workshop.</p><p>The show will include Arabic-speaking characters who are developed to "speak" to refugee children. For example, one of the main characters on the Arabic Sesame Street is Jad, a young muppet, is new to the neighborhood and it is implicated that he is a refugee. In a <em>60 Minutes</em> <a href="https://www.cbsnews.com/news/sesame-street-international-rescue-committee-help-syria-refugee-children-60-minutes-2019-11-17/" target="_blank">clip</a> from one of the episodes he says "My toy is not with me. I left it behind in my old home when I came here." Additional characters include a muppet girl named Basma who befriends Jad, a baby goat named <em>Ma'zooza </em>that follows them around, and, of course, appearances by beloved classic Sesame Street characters such as Elmo, Cookie Monster, and Grover. </p><p>The tragedy of displacement, which lasts on average 20 years, is particularly traumatizing for young children who can't fully grasp the situation they are caught in the middle of. This leaves violent cracks in the foundation of refugee children's lives, many of whom have witnessed the violent deaths of loved ones. The first season of<em> Ahlan Simsim</em> will aim to help children develop social-emotional coping tools such as belly breathing and counting to five, according to executive producer Scott Cameron. </p><p>But, the impact of <em>Ahlan Simsim </em>will likely do more than teach children what <a href="https://medium.com/@ahlansimsim2019/meet-the-new-muppets-of-ahlan-simsim-fa21583cc87e" target="_blank">Cameron calls</a> "emotional ABCs." Besides the trauma of an early childhood scarred by war violence, displaced children may experience <a href="https://istss.org/getattachment/Education-Research/Briefing-Papers/Trauma-and-Mental-Health-in-Forcibly-Displaced-Pop/Displaced-Populations-Briefing-Paper_Final.pdf.aspx" target="_blank">social trauma</a> in areas that they seek asylum. Daily stressors such as acculturation, economic insecurity, community violence, and stigma against refugees can be detrimental to child development and adjustment in a new community. Because children learn to understand themselves through a social lens, it's important to see images, characters, and role models in the media that are representative of one's experience and identity group. </p><p>Lack of representation can compound the isolation and identity disruption that displaced children experience. Not only have they been physically torn from their homes and communities, but they find themselves in situations where they perceive themselves as "different." By representing disadvantage, displaced children, <em>Ahlan Simsim</em> may help refugee children feel that they belong in their community, and <a href="https://thriveglobal.com/stories/human-diversity-in-the-media/" target="_blank">inspire feelings of confidence and security</a>. Additionally,<em> Ahlan Simsim</em> helps to abolish harmful stereotypes against refugee populations by portraying them in a positive light as part of the community. </p>
Benefits of Early Multicultural Exposure<p>Early childhood media representation isn't just for the benefit of minority groups. By exposing viewers to less common cultures, programs like <em>Ahlan Simsim </em>help children acquire enhanced social skills, seek out diverse experiences later in life, and <a href="https://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/sc-fam-1209-children-diverse-neighborhood-20141202-story.html" target="_blank">become more receptive</a> to those who speak different languages than they are used to at home. </p><p>Children who are exposed to culturally diverse media may learn to become more comfortable with differences in race, religion, language, and lifestyle in real life. <a href="https://i-studentglobal.com/what-to-study/student-lifestyle/why-diversity-exposure-is-important-in-early-education-development/" target="_blank">Research has even shown</a> that exposure to diversity early in life can impact how successful children will become in adulthood. For instance, learning to work with others across categories of race or socioeconomic status sets children up for developing interpersonal skills that will give them an advantage later in life. </p><p><a href="https://www.cnn.com/2019/11/20/world/sesame-workshop-syrian-refugees-trnd/index.html" target="_blank">CNN reports</a> that the first season of <em>Ahlan Simsim</em> is set to air locally across the Middle East in February 2020 and will be digitally available. </p>
A review of the global "wall" that divides rich from poor.
- Trump's border wall is only one puzzle piece of a global picture.
- Similar anxieties are raising similar border defenses elsewhere.
- This map shows how, as a result, "the West" is in fact one large gated community.
World-wide fence<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMTk5NTczMi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYwMjE3MjUxMX0.MO6GQwcV_Ms8h2j4vL-eJGkDJWbyligT5RpcuDCtWkE/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C11%2C0%2C12&height=700" id="4f36b" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="bc96a05ab38ddd887e4b0fcbb8758182" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
The western terminus of the US-Mexico land border at Tijuana.
Image source: © Tomas Castelazo / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 4.0<p>This map is a decade old, but it feels increasingly topical with every passing year. More than ever, we live in a Walled World.</p><p>Even though the stats on the map may have changed somewhat, its shocking main point still stands: the rich countries of the world are, in fact, the world's biggest gated community. </p><p>This world-wide fence is rarely presented to us in its totality; we catch glimpses of its various bits whenever they're in the news. Those separate pieces don't necessarily seem to belong to the same puzzle. <br></p><p>The US-Mexico border is far away from "Fortress Europe," and both are different from Israel's security wall. Other, similar barriers have their own peculiarities. But in the end, they all do the same thing: keep the poor, huddled masses from the shantytowns off the manicured lawns of the First World. </p>
The Berlin Window<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMTk5NTc2OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMTE4NDU3OH0.ZcwaxEM2GGfjka5EGLHK64EQeKkiWFexo9NnJ4s_e0Q/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C45%2C0%2C81&height=700" id="b8dc4" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="4d742b2b29f6ebe1533c49c5e396e764" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
East and West Berliners on top of the recently opened Berlin Wall, early November 1989.
Image: Lear21, CC BY-SA 3.0<p>For a brief window of time, opened 30 years ago next month, it seemed history would go the other way. In November 1989, the Berlin Wall came down. Its joyous demolition predicted the end of hard borders everywhere. <br></p><p>That window soon flew shut. The idea of a globalized world with frictionless borders fell out of fashion faster than the bleached jeans and mullet hair of the East Berliners marveling at their first banana in 1989. </p><p>Two events stand out: 9/11, and the refugee crisis of 2015. Both increased the fear and suspicion of "others" and remedied it by shoring up the entrance barriers into what is still sometimes — incongruously — called "the West" (1).</p><p>At the end of the Cold War, there were just 15 walls separating countries from each other. Now there are at least 70 walled borders worldwide. Since the fall of the Wall, <em>thousands</em> of miles of steel and concrete walls have gone up on international borders. <br></p>
A global wall<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMTk5MDU5My9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNjE5MDc2OH0.U4xDS12lsL7SRPCGjce3Vgeq_xNQOg-NNptaUwziecU/img.jpg?width=980" id="051fa" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="f75555ed62d03501e002e1bda6335f81" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="The rich world, developed world, first world or Western world by another name: the walled world." />
The rich world, developed world, first world or Western world by another name: the walled world.
Image: TD Architects<p>As this map shows, the Walled World consists of the U.S. and Canada (in North America); Japan and South Korea, plus Australia and New Zealand (in the Asia-Pacific region); plus basically the entire European Union (2); and also Israel. In 2009, that club of nations represented just 14 percent of the world's population but earned 73 percent of its income. Conversely, the "gray areas" outside the walls were home to 86 percent of humanity, who scraped together just 27 percent of the world's income. <br></p><p>The average monthly income inside the wall is around €2,500. Outside, it's just €150. Money may or may not buy happiness, but it does buy quality of life. The yellow dots, which represent the world's top 50 cities in terms of quality of life, are almost all inside the wall — only Singapore is outside, and <a href="https://bigthink.com/politics-current-affairs/singapore-economy" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">that relatively wealthy city-state should arguably be included inside the wall anyway</a>. </p><p>In other words: the poor are many, the rich are few. That's not a new phenomenon of course, nor are the migratory pressures it causes. That's where those barriers come in. The map lists some examples, the locations and the circumstances of which are all different — but which are all pieces of the same puzzle shown on this map. <br></p>
Technically still at war<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMTk5NTc4OS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxODAxODI5MH0.NJDXkLspXY_M7kQ2iGLkMimUqoFaaJDNpGxLQm4piXI/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C106%2C0%2C0&height=700" id="b89f0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="04e8de99cfd0a17b8a17e1e8f15a4658" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) between North and South Korea.
Image source: Korean Culture and Information Service (Jeon Han), CC BY 2.0<p><strong>A. The DMZ between North and South Korea</strong><br></p><p>The Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), which came into being in the ceasefire on July 27, 1953, cuts the Korean peninsula about in half. It's 155 miles (248 km) long and around 2 miles (3 km) wide. The two sides are technically still at war. Skirmishes at the DMZ have cost the lives of hundreds of Koreans, and at least 50 U.S. service personnel. The border is so heavily fortified that North Korean defectors rather try their luck going north into China than attempting to cross the DMZ. </p><p><strong>B. The Australian Defense Force (ADF)</strong></p><p>The ADF — charged with the defense of Australia — patrols the waters north of Australia, where incursions by boat refugees are most likely. </p><p><strong>C. The US-Mexico barrier<br></strong></p><p>Although Trump got elected by promising to "build that wall," the systematic erection of physical barriers on the 1,954-mile (3,145-km) US-Mexico border already began under the Clinton Administration. At first, it was concentrated on urban crossing points. After 9/11, fencing occurred in more rural/isolated areas as well — both under presidents Bush Jr. and Obama. Over the decades, thousands of migrants have died crossing the border. </p>
Tourist attractions<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMTk5NTc5NS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYyMDM5MjE4Mn0.86WA094D1hRCgqpss7SPPd4MAxZ9UslIVWgw9_FOafA/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C149%2C0%2C90&height=700" id="944cb" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="240c408cac098df3647d7776bc9ae362" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
The 'Valla' in Melilla, where Europe touches Africa.
Image: Ángel Gutiérrez Rubio, CC BY 2.0<p><strong>D. The Ceuta and Melilla border fences<br></strong></p><p>Ceuta and Melilla, the two Spanish exclave cities in Morocco, are where Fortress Europe meets North Africa. Built from 1993 with EU funding, a hard border consisting of tall barbed-wire fences equipped with motion sensors tries (and often fails) to keep out the flow of migrants from sub-Saharan Africa. Before making the attempt, many hide in the Gurugu Mountains outside Melilla. Called "La Valla," the fences have become one of the cities' major tourist attractions. </p><p><strong>E. The EU's Schengen Border</strong></p><p>The map legend reads: "It took the European Union only six years (after the fall of the Berlin Wall) to create, with the Schengen Agreement in 1995, a new division only 80 km offset to the east of Berlin." The 26 Schengen Area members (3) have abolished all "internal" passport and border controls and have strengthened border controls and a common visa policy for non-Schengen countries. </p><p><strong>F. The West Bank Barrier</strong></p><p>In 2002, Israel started work on a concrete barrier separating Israelis from Palestinians. Israel says this is to stop the incursion of terrorists into Israel proper. The placing of the wall, largely beyond the Green Line which constitutes the "official" border between Israel and the Palestinian territories, means 9.4 percent of West Bank and East Jerusalem territory is now included on the Israeli side. Palestinians contend the wall is a land grab and constitutes a de facto border. Almost 90 percent of Israeli settlers in the occupied territories live between the Green Line and the Wall. <br></p>
Another brick in the wall<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMTk5MDU5Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzMDcwNDkyOH0.NEteoE3ddyguc1CmyYsHOfFzdBkjjiyj1cn_eQCr7AE/img.jpg?width=980" id="e57f6" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b0023574b71dc95ff3d259ccf5ca5f55" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="One of the 99 'Peace Walls' in Belfast, Northern Ireland." />
One of the 99 "Peace Walls" in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
Image source: Duke Human Rights Center, CC BY 2.0<p>Of course, there are many more border walls than these.<br></p><ul> <li>Take for instance the Evros Wall. Built in 2012 along the eponymous border river between Greece and Turkey, its purpose is to stop illegal migrants crossing the only land border between both countries into the EU. </li></ul><p>Not all border walls are between the First World and the Rest of the World.</p><ul> <li>India is building a 2,500-mile barbed-wire fence around Bangladesh, the overcrowded neighbour squeezed in entirely between India and the sea. India says the "Bengal Wall" will keep out smugglers and terrorists — but it will mostly keep out people fleeing poverty and climate change. </li></ul><p>Some of the border walls aren't even between countries, but between neighborhoods.</p><ul><li>Belfast counts 99 "Peace Walls" separating Catholic/nationalist communities from Protestant/loyalist ones. The largest one, dividing Protestant Springmartin Estate from Catholic Springfield Park, consists of no less than a million bricks.</li><li>Brazil's rich cordon themselves off from the nation's poor in gated communities such as Alphaville in São Paulo.</li><li>A decades-old wall divides Nicosia on Cyprus in Greek and Turkish halves — after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Nicosia is now the only European capital still divided by a wall.</li></ul>
Feel the Berm<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yMTk5MDU5Ny9vcmlnaW4uZ2lmIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzODE2MjU3OH0.7OvuhyZRUb_PYE6P5zjSkQ19Ik5qmCnUMZhTskzhCW0/img.gif?width=980" id="73de0" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="6bc5605dab25e876c434fb4929f6f711" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="The expansion of Morocco's Berm, in six phases from 1982 to 1987." />
The expansion of Morocco's Berm, in six phases from 1982 to 1987.
Image source: Cedric31, GFDL<p>Border walls are both old and new.<br></p><ul><li>In 1975, Morocco took over the Western Sahara from Spain without granting the locals a referendum on independence. An armed rebellion ensued. Morocco responded by building the "Berm." The world's longest and oldest security barrier divides the Western Sahara in a large, ocean-facing swathe controlled by Morocco, and a thin strip of desert on the border with Mauritania, left to the Sahrawi rebels.</li><li>In recent years, "security walls" have gone up in Kabul, Baghdad, Cairo, and Syria. So many in fact, that none of them merit the notoriety of the Berlin Wall or even Belfast's Peace Walls. </li></ul><p>An updated map of the Walled World would contain many more red lines crisscrossing the planet. It feels like it'll be a while before there'll be another Berlin Moment, and any of these walls will start coming down again. <br></p>