Refugee Story

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It serves as a sobering reminder of both the unthinkable violence they have fled, as well as the challenges they confront during the refugee resettlement process Yet, in the end, this uplifting account demonstrates the supremacy of kindness and hospitality. This is Home is a must watch for anyone interested in understanding the obstacles faced by newly-arrived refugees. Allows an exceptional intimacy to develop between the audience and the subjects The children make friends. Teenagers get into college. No one is a villain here. People are kind. But Shiva, in this quiet, thoughtful film, has given us a gift in laying bare the extremity of their transition.

The more she illuminates the nuances, the better we see. It also brilliantly and subliminally shatters the publicized stereotype that Syrian refugees are a threat to American security and culture. The image of the 'other' is delicately yet seamlessly transposed into one accepted, supported and fitted into the fabric of American society. Addresses early relief, initial confusion, fluctuating states of peace and homesick despair, and the small joys that come with knowing one can adapt.

This Is Home captures the struggle for all this. As America turns inward the freedom this country offers fades. This important film brings home how policy affects human beings. A must see film. It poignantly depicts how these refugees - with grace, dignity, and humor - overcome culture shock, language barriers, homesickness, and bigotry to forge a new life in America. This film is necessary viewing for understanding how the ordeal of being a refugee continues after being granted asylum. Faedah Totah, Associate Professor of Political Science, Virginia Commonwealth University "An intimate portrait of the global immigration crisis on a person-to-person level.

A must-see in classes engaging refugeeism and resettlement as well as for communities interested in learning more about the realities and challenges of resettlement for newly arrived refugees. This year, her story has become more relevant than ever. More than , refugees and migrants have crossed the Mediterranean to seek safety and a better life in Europe, and tens of thousands died along the way. Across the EU, people are waking up to the tragedy unfolding on their shores.

Some are responding with compassion, but far too many with xenophobia. That is 8 million more than last year, already the largest number since World War II, and the biggest annual rise we have ever recorded. Just a small fraction are seeking asylum in Europe. Still, many people in Europe are worried about security, the economy, changes to their culture. But to me, there is something very clear that overrides the rest: no person fleeing conflict or persecution should have to die trying to reach safety. The simple truth is that refugees would not risk their lives on a journey so dangerous if they could thrive where they are.

And migrants fleeing grinding poverty would not be on those boats if they could feed themselves and their children. And nobody would resort to handing over their life savings to smugglers if they could apply to migrate legally. What if there had been a legal way for Doaa to come to study? What if Masa had been given the legal chance to unite with family members in Northern Europe? What if Bassem had a work permit? Why is there no massive resettlement programme for Syrians? And why are the neighbouring countries that host 4 million Syrian refugees getting so little funding for infrastructure and development?

And of course, the root question: why is so little being done to stop the wars, persecution and poverty driving so many people to flee for the shores of Europe? I believe if the public knew the story of Doaa, they would demand that all refugees and migrants on their shores be rescued, that wars end and borders be opened. They would embrace Doaa, whose heart is not just full of the fear that drove her away from home, but with the hopes and dreams that bind us all as human beings.

Emmanuel, Ghana. I suppose I am one of those who almost made it. I left home with the dream of getting to Europe, where I was told I would easily find a job which would mean I would be able to look after my siblings. My mother died when I was very young and our father basically abandoned us as he could not, or did not want to, take care of us. I felt I had no choice but to leave Ghana and try my luck in Europe. It is difficult to explain and I have bad memories about this, but I had a terrible time in Libya. Those of us from certain African countries were treated very badly by men who kept us in dirty houses without much clean water and with very little edible food.

They were very abusive and they seemed to enjoy the way they treated us. It did not matter to them that we had paid them all this money. Finally, one day, after several weeks of waiting, I was one of about 75, mostly Africans, who were shoved onto a small rubber boat in the early morning when it was still dark. A few in our group initially refused to get onto this boat because it did not look strong or even big enough to carry all of us to Europe.

The men in charge had weapons and were very aggressive. They were simply not interested in our complaints about the boat. Instead we spent five days aimlessly floating around and basically lost at sea. When the boat started losing air, we thought we were all going to die.

RAM :: Kathryn Clark: Refugee Stories

As our food and water ran out, we eventually drifted towards the Tunisian coast where we were rescued and sent to a detention centre in Tunis. I was in this centre for a month before I was freed.

Emmanuel was rescued from the detention centre and returned to Ghana with IOM assistance and was provided with reintegration support, including a small grant that helped him start a business transporting yams to the market. When I arrived back home in Ghana, my friends and relatives wanted to know why I had come back with nothing. There I was back home, when others were busy earning good money and looking after their families. I had new brown shoes when we left. They became stiff and white from the salt and had to be thrown out. I was struck by the many people coming to Canada and another going to the United States.

Life threatening sea journeys

On leaving the ship we were each given a Canadian dollar for pocket money. That was the extent of my wealth on coming to Canada, and I spent it on a carton of cigarettes. It took some 2 hours for the customs officials to check and open the baggage, after which it was loaded on 2 baggage cars on the C.


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On the C. There were a lot of apple trees, and it started to snow. Stopping at the big cities, some of the passengers left, and by Montreal only about half remained. Arriving in Sudbury there was already a lot of snow. Our destination was Valora. The rest of the passengers went to Manitoba and Alberta. Arriving at Valora there were some 17 or 18 of us going to the camp and we were met by a Ukrainian man.

It was freezing cold, with 2 or 3 feet of snow. We were told to run to the barracks as fast as we could so we would not freeze. We were faced with midwinter and bush all around us. The men said it was like being a volunteer to Siberia. We were fed, and were impressed with the amount and variety of food. A clerk operating the camp store gave us all the heavy clothing needed for work and I hardly carried the load. We were then given a couple of days to rest before starting work. We were given full instructions how the work was to be done.

The Harrowing Personal Stories of Syrian Refugees, in Their Own Words

I for one had never done the work before. Each man was to make at least a cord a day to cover the expenses. Two of us working together made half a cord in 8 hours, and we were so beaten we could hardly walk, or hold our spoons at supper. After two weeks I made 1 or 2 cords a day. We coped with mosquitoes and black flies in the summer, wolves howling, and bears raiding the food storage shed. In winter I had an accident when logs were being hauled from the bush.

I was sitting on top of the load of logs, which were not tied down to the sleigh behind the horses. The sleigh hit a stump in the logging road, causing the logs to shift and roll, falling towards the horses. I fell with them, landing behind the horses with logs scattering around me. Miraculously I was not trampled by the horses and escaped with a scare and heavy bruises. Yet once again my life was spared. I then went to Fort William now a part of Thunder Bay and from there to Three Rivers where my friend had settled after coming to Canada.

After looking for a job and finding nothing immediately available, I came back to Fort William. I met a friend who was working at the C.

Annual Reports

They hired me to start the following day, June 18, I started as a labourer and worked my way up, apprenticing to carman's helper and then to carman. Now that I had a steady job I turned my attention to other aspects of my life, learning some English at night school. I would meet with friends and go to dances on Saturday nights. In April , at one such dance I met a Canadian-born girl, who was to become my wife the following December, and we have had a happy life together. On September 6, I became a Canadian citizen.


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  • In I retired from the C. I was fortunate in having started there when I did, as a newcomer to the country, with no previous experience, and being able to apprentice on the job. There would not be any such advantages for young people at the present time. It had been my wish to some day go back once more to see my birthplace and in we decided to go on a group tour, arriving in Moscow on May 28th. On arriving at our hotel, our tour guide was not there and I asked the hotel clerk in Russian as to what we were to do. She was surprised to have a foreigner speak to her in Russian, wondering who I was.

    Our guide explained my circumstances to her, as she was to do on many other occasions, and I was given a welcome wherever we went, as a lost son of Russia. We were taken on tours, visiting the Kremlin and many of the other sites through Moscow. We preceded to Leningrad - "Venice of the North ", my hometown.

    Refugee: Shames’ story

    The city had changed much of course after going through the siege of days during the war. Much of it had been completely demolished and buildings and palaces were still being reconstructed. Our hotel was some 3 blocks from where we once lived, but the area was unrecognizable. There was a huge monument on Victory Square, close to the hotel, in memory of the defenders of Leningrad and the people who had seen the horrors of that war, my family among them, with whom I had lost all contact. After seeing the many sights and the St.

    Isaac's Cathedral dating from , we proceeded on to the town of Pushkin, then a hydrofoil ride to Petrodvorets, Peter the Greats "Russian Versailles " overlooking the Gulf of Finland, with its Grand Palace and the Great Cascade with 64 fountains and 37 statues in gold all re-created. We also visited the Hermittage, with its famous huge art collection, of which we could only see a minute portion of course. We had come to the end of our Russian journey, with a farewell dinner held for us at the hotel.

    I had now seen more of my former homeland than I had seen while living there. My roots had been firmly transplanted, and I was happy to be going home. This brings us to the present, , when we decided to take a trip to the East coast with our daughter and son-in-law, touring through Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island.