Category Personal Stories

The EU-Turkey Deal and its Nightmarish Face

By Minem Marouf Dear Friends, this is a call for help. I have been on Lesvos with #HumanityCrew leading a wonderful team of Palestinian volunteers providing psychosocial support among other assistance to refugees arriving to the island by what could only be called ‘the death trip’ from the shores of Turkey. As it is, there […]

Addicted to volunteering: two personal responses to Hungary’s refugee crisis

The spotlight was on Hungary in the summer of 2015: unable to cope with its refugee crisis on a governmental level, it was criticised worldwide for its hostile policy towards asylum seekers. On the other hand, streets and railway stations were filled with civilian helpers, who quickly organised themselves into informal groups and networks, secretly […]

In Lesvos: a warm welcome to a cold winter

Please, lady, don’t choose the Ugg boots, anything but the goddamn Ugg boots. I’m in the clothes tent at a cliff-side refugee transit camp in Lesvos, Greece. It’s a slow day, so the Iraqi-Kurdish lady has time to pick out which shoes she’d like. Having just clambered out of dodgy boats, most refugees come to […]

Can we do it? A view of the refugee crisis response from Schorndorf, Germany

By Tina Kreitmayr I got back to Germany in September after a year abroad and I was very curious about the situation of refugees in my medium- sized, Southern German home town. I had heard all the great stories about public engagement in Berlin and Munich, but I did not quite know what to expect […]

Here at Moria Camp

By Karim Ani Dear Mom: There’s a strong wind blowing in from the south. This could make the seas choppy for inbound refugees, many of whom don’t know how to swim. In addition to illness and injury, drownings are a big problem here. I attended a burial yesterday of twelve bodies, and evidently there are […]

Cry the Beloved Prejudice: Reflections on South Africa

A few weeks ago I discovered an intruder in my back yard. An uninvited guest who had taken root among the natives. When I asked my gardener about the exotic foreigner who seemed so nonchalant about interrupting my peace and quiet (and views), he simply replied, “definitely not from here. Probably South African.” Strange. If […]

Trampoline House: Space for Connection in Copenhagen

Starting from the end of May, against the backdrop of streets drowning in election posters, a series of cultural and artistic events emerge in the weather-wise frozen Copenhagen. It seems like all cultural operators and organizers are mobilizing themselves – and also the artists and their audience – by a more or less accidental common […]

Through social networks – online, on campus and face-to-face – Nepalis abroad bridge distances after quake

Anupa was born in the U.S. just a few months after her parents and older brother emigrated from Nepal. Throughout her childhood and teen years, the time she spent visiting Nepal was integral to the development of her identity. “Splitting my time has left me with deep connections both to my 40+ first cousins (who […]

Stuck: Time is running out for non-refugee spouses of Bhutanese refugees

by Gloriana Sojo Sita was not forced to seek asylum in the corner of Nepal. She was not persecuted in Bhutan, and she was not born in the Beldangi refugee camp. Sita went to Beldangi by choice. She married into it. And now, she’s stuck. Originally from India, Sita met a Bhutanese refugee in the northern […]

‘Who the hell do you think you are?’ … almost fiction

‘We could all live on drugs, pee in our pants, drown in mud and puke sitting in the streets, covered with self-pity, if we really insist on indulging our hardships and scars, right?’ says R. No, he does not say it. He spits it, he yells, thunders it with his glass-blue eyes lightning through the […]