The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “diaspora” thusly: “a group of people who live outside the area in which they had lived for a long time or in which their ancestors lived.”
Historically, the word “diaspora” has been most closely associated with the scattering of Jews around the world during and after World War II, but I see the desperation of the Syrian refugees in such large numbers, and the word “diaspora” comes to mind. My heart goes out to these people, especially when I see parents on television saying that they are searching for a better life for their children. On the other hand, it scares me to hear television pundits expostulating that terrorists might blend into a crowd of legitimate refugees, and the countries where Syrians have resettled might be harboring enemies in their midst, and considering the sheer number of displaced persons, it’s highly likely to be true.
So, ultimately, how do I feel? Both compassionate and scared.