The United States is a nation made up almost entirely of migrants or people who’s ancestors were migrants. Despite this fact, people today still fear the “other.” They fear people that who have a different appearance, a unique language, or who eat different foods.
Moshin Hamid displays this same concept in his novel Exit West. As Nadia and Saeed traveled through doors to new countries they were seen as the “other.” They were migrants from far away and many natives in the countries they traveled to did not like their presence. Hamid writes about “a mob that was intending to attack migrants” (109), and a “night of shattered glass” (135), both acts of violence that are aimed at migrants. Even Saeed, who experienced first hand what it felt like to be the other, had instances where he feared people who weren’t like him. At one point during their journey, Saeed went to Nadia and told her he wanted to move to another house “to be among our own kind” (153), because Saeed felt uncomfortable and scared living in the house filled with people from countries he wasn’t used to. Both the natives, Saeed, and the other migrants feared each other simply because of their differences.
I think in our world today much of this fear comes from how “the other” is portrayed, whether is be in the news, social media, or even in textbooks. We are often only shown negative aspects of other nations such as violence and war and this creates fear of the other.