Don’t Feel Sorry for Refugees–Believe in Them.

I watched the TedTalk,  Luma Mufleh: Don’t Feel Sorry for Refugees — Believe in Them. This talk challenged me in a number of ways.

At the beginning of the talk, Luma identifies herself as a Gay, Muslim, Immigrant. She reveals she is the daughter of a refuge, and admits that when she was eight years old she too was wary of the people at a refugee camp. She struggled with her identity, but as a result has been able to make many people who are displaced feel welcomed in her life.

Statistics:

  • 65.3 Million people have been forcibly displaced from their homes because of war or persecution
  • The largest number, 11 million are from Syria
  • 33,952 people flee their homes daily
  • The vast majority remain in refugee camps
  • The United States resettles less than .1%

Quotes:

  • Don’t ever think people are beneath you, or that you have nothing to learn from others.
  • Don’t feel sorry for them, believe in them.
  • When you find yourself choosing between where your from and survival the question, “Where you are from?” becomes loaded.

Two lessons I learned:

  • Luma’s life was touched by a lady named Ms. Sarah, a Southern Baptist. Although the talk was not about Ms. Sarah I was touched by Ms. Sarah’s testimony to be salt and light to Luma.
  • Luma heard about the most grotesque acts of humanity from refugees but she says they focus on hope and a love for life.

Two Reflection Questions:

  • How can you and I be a source of hope to those who are displaced?
  • How can you and I live a more full life?

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