So I made a list of refugees I've known, refugees I admire, refugees who've made a difference in my life. I made a list and I started to write.
What I discovered surprised me. I've been profoundly influenced by a distinguished collection of refugees and immigrants, both in my life and in the history of this country.
- The Afghan family that I grew up knowing as my family.
- The Iraqi boy who changed my whole life with one shy sentence.
- The WWII spy linguist who invited me into his exclusive inner circle.
- The Ethiopian American professor who sent me off to the Peace Corps with important doubts.
- The Iraqi women who had such impossible optimism.
- The Iraqi man who left me speechless.
- All the many Palestinians I've known, with their complex relationships with home and homeland.
- The Somali American scholar who allowed me the briefest glimpse at living in his skin.
- The Sudanese "Lost Boys" who sought out a teacher for the technical skills they knew they needed.
- The Somali and Eritrean girls who just wanted to belong.
- The Syrian man whose words lit a fire in my heart.
- ...and many more.
The more I wrote, the longer the list grew, and the more I realized that my life would not be what it is without the very personal contributions of a distinguished list of refugees. I want you to get to know them and appreciate what they have to offer the world, too.
See them all under the tag Refugee Collection.