Refugees in America: Stories of Courage, Resilience, and Hope in Their Own Words

Refugees in America: Stories of Courage, Resilience, and Hope in Their Own Words


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It is not an easy road—but hope is the oxygen of my life.  These insightful words of Meron Semedar, a refugee from Eritrea, reflect the feelings of the eleven men and women featured in this book.  These refugees  share their extraordinary experiences  of fleeing oppression, violence and war in their home countries in search of a better life in the United States.
Each chapter of Refugees in America focuses on an individual from a different country, from a 93-year-old Polish grandmother who came to the United States after surviving the horrors of Auschwitz to a young undocumented immigrant from El Salvador who became an American college graduate, despite being born impoverished and blind. Some have found it easy to reinvent themselves in the United States, while others have struggled to adjust to America, with its new culture, language, prejudices, and norms.
Each of them speaks candidly about their experiences to author Lee T. Bycel, who provides illuminating background information on the refugee crises in their native countries. Their stories help reveal the real people at the center of political debates about US immigration.
Giving a voice to refugees from such far-flung locations as South Sudan, Guatemala, Syria, and Vietnam, this book weaves together a rich tapestry of human resilience, suffering, and determination.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781978806214
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Publication date: 09/13/2019
Edition description: None
Pages: 212
Sales rank: 592,784
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.90(d)
Age Range: 16 - 18 Years

About the Author

LEE T. BYCEL is a humanitarian activist, Rabbi, teacher and author, who serves as the Sinton Visiting Professor of Holocaust, Ethics and Refugee Studies at the University of San Francisco.  He has visited refugee camps in Darfur, Chad, South Sudan, Rwanda, Kenya, Ethiopia and Haiti. He has written extensively about the plight of refugees, and has secured much needed funding for medical clinics in refugee camps.  
DONA KOPOL BONICK is an esteemed portraitist and artist whose photographic career spans three decades. The photography director for the inaugural BottleRock music festival, her works have appeared in many books, art museums, and private collections.

ISHMAEL BEAH whose work has been published in over 30 countries, is the New York Times Bestselling author of A Long Way Gone; Memoirs of a boy soldier and Radiance of Tomorrow, a novel. His next novel, The Lively Skeletons of Every Season, a novel, will be published by fall of 2019.

Table of Contents

Foreword Ishmael Beah ix

Introduction 1

1 Meron Semedar, Eritrea: Hope Is the Oxygen of My Life 15

2 Noemi Perez-Lemus, Guatemala: Children Who Returned from a Walk through Hell 31

3 Asinja Badeel, Iraq and the Yazidis: The Imaginary Girl 43

4 Deng Ajak Jongkuch, South Sudan: He Threw Garbage on Me 62

5 Sidonia Lax, Poland: The Apple Lady 77

6 Malk Alamarsh, Syria: The Walls Have Ears 92

7 Vanny Loun, Cambodia: A River of Memories 107

8 Darwin Velasquez, El Salvador: Blind but the Heart Can See 122

9 Kien Ha Quach Thien, Vietnam: The Life Before and the Life After 141

10 Wilita Sanguma, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC): They Bombed My Church on Christmas Day 153

11 Jawad Khawari, Afghanistan: Empty Walls 171

Afterword 188

Acknowledgments 191

Index 195

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Refugees in America: Stories of Courage, Resilience, and Hope in Their Own Words 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Kare-Anderson 29 days ago
The poignant and uplifting individual true stories of amazing 11 refugees’ backgrounds and tumultuous often tragic history and experiences in their countries and the unfolding stories of how they were eventually able to come to the United States make educational and ultimately inspiring stories. And how their lives evolved in the U.S. shows many sides of our culture as well as theirs. These gripping stories moved me so much I found myself sharing them with friends and also local students I know. It pulled many of them to get the book too. This book is both timely with the diverse views of if and how to hone the path for apt potential refugees to enter our country plus it has eye opening vignettes on violent points in history in several countries. I found it to be a deeply moving and educational book