With hundreds of thousands of migrants headed to Europe from Syria and Iraq, reactions have ranged from reluctant acceptance (Germany) to outright, vicious racism (Slovakia, Poland, Fox News). As ever, John Oliver used Last Week Tonight to put a human face on the latest shitty, depressing thing people are doing to one another, and the face of the refugee crisis is a cool Syrian teen named Noujain Mustaffa.
Noujain, disabled from birth, gets around in a wheelchair. She recently crossed into the U.K. via Turkey, and she’s really looking on the bright side regarding that journey: At least she got to go on a train and a ship for the first time.
Asked about her dreams, she said she’d like to become an astronaut and find an alien. Also, to meet the queen (so, basically the same thing).
Noujain speaks fantastic English as a result of obsessively studying her favorite soap opera, Days of Our Lives, but she was bummed out by the death of her favorite handsome-but-flawed character, E.J.
So John Oliver used his premium cable clout to shoot a Days scene just for Noujain, starring two of her faves. E.J. has come back to life, and he’s very concerned about the migrant crisis in general and Noujain in particular.
A bit saccharine? Sure, but when European politicians are literally calling migrants “human garbage,” it’s hard to knock Oliver for going over the top in the opposite direction.