Did you know that Every minute, 8 people leave everything to escape war, persecution & terror? During my trolling on Twitter this morning, I stumbled across a trending hash tag: #WorldRefugeeDay. I’ve been following the twitter stream all day and I am truly fascinated how many people care.
The topic is near and dear to my heart – my family moved to the U.S. twelve years ago as religious refugees. Since then we’ve become U.S. citizens, but we’ll still always be refugees and immigrants. Over the years I’ve heard all sorts of opinions on the topic – most negative, some positive.
Today is a day to raise awareness. To say a prayer for those who are seeking refugee from the nightmares their lives have become. Some are political refugees, others religious. Some simply need refugee from their own personal demons. Whatever type of refugee a person is, they deserve a prayer, support and respect.
I’ll forever be grateful to my parents and for the decisions they’ve made. They gave up everything – their home, their careers, their friends, family, culture, customs – everything familiar just to move my siblings and I to the U.S. to pursue better opportunities. They didn’t speak the language or know the customs, but they still moved when the opportunity presented itself.
The move was easier on us kids – we got picked on for our clothes, accents and customs, but we’ve adjusted. Now, we all speak English fluently, know the culture and it’s expectations, but for us, it’s more than that, because we have our roots. We have sacrifices and responsibilities. And that makes being an American that much more special.
Today, I had the opportunity to speak at a non-profit’s board meeting. I’ve received several scholarships through this local foundation and was honored to have the chance to say thank you to many amazing and generous people. It was so special to be able to share my experiences with others – to tell my story.
Mine is a happy refugee story (there is a such a thing). Now, it’s my turn to pray for those who haven’t gotten their happy ending yet. Today, I hope you’ll join people across the world and raise awareness in our communities because there is a bad world out there and there are good people and innocent children out there who need us.Photo courtesy of Boston.com and AP