Refugee Quotes

Quotes tagged as "refugee" (showing 1-30 of 37)
Ruta Sepetys
“How foolish to believe we are more powerful than the sea or the sky.”
Ruta Sepetys, Salt to the Sea

Nadia Hashimi
“Refugees didn’t just escape a place. They had to escape a thousand memories until they’d put enough time and distance between them and their misery to wake to a better day.”
Nadia Hashimi, When the Moon is Low

Barack Obama
“A nation ringed by walls will only imprison itself.”
Barack Obama

Ruta Sepetys
“But unlike Mama, I would not go to heaven. My secrets padlocked the gates. I'd be a torn kite stuck in the dead branches of a tree, unable to fly.”
Ruta Sepetys, Salt to the Sea

“A human being can only take so much when their basic rights as a citizen of the earth are being denied to them – or sold at a high cost.”
Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem


Tell me,
Have you
Really seen
Flies in a child's eyes
Or heard their hungry cries
In the middle
Of the night?

Don't lie.

You can protest all you want
About peace
And genocide,
But unless you are willing
To take beatings for your fights,
Your display of trendy showmanship
Simply ain't right.

Go on,
Carry your useless signs
About an issue the world
Already abhors,
But it's TRUE
Heartfelt actions
That will prevent
Suits and
From creating
Any more wars.”
Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem

Susan Abulhawa
“But in our camp, his story was everyone’s story, a single tale of dispossession, of being stripped to the bones of one’s humanity, of being dumped like rubbish into refugee camps unfit for rats. Of being left without rights, home, or nation while the world turned its back to watch or cheer the jubilation of the usurpers proclaiming a new state they called Israel.”
Susan Abulhawa, Mornings in Jenin

Bangambiki Habyarimana
“Home is where you feel more welcome, more secure, have more rights, where you are loved. This place can be any place even away from what you would normally call home.”
Bangambiki Habyarimana, Book of Wisdom

Tariq Ramadan
“Your enemy is not the refugee. Your enemy is the one who made him a refugee.”
Tariq Ramadan

Chris Atack
“The very concept of home has become tarnished, misty, elusive. As never before, we are living in a rootless age. So many of us are refugees, living out of suitcases, car trunks, cardboard boxes, desperate to go back to a home that no longer exists.”
Chris Atack, The Hunger Star

Richard Flanagan
“Refugees are not like you and me. They are you and me. That terrible river of the wretched and damned flowing through Europe is my family. And there is no time in the future in which they might be helped. The only time we have is now.”
Richard Flanagan, Notes on an Exodus

Remi Kanazi
“we are the boat
returning to dock
we are the footprints
on the northern trail
we are the iron
coloring the soil
we cannot
be erased”
Remi Kanazi, Before the Next Bomb Drops

Robert Jackson Bennett
“I have taken many lives in my life. Many children, perhaps husbands, wives, parents. Perhaps it is only just that this same violation was inflicted upon me. Perhaps it is just that one who lives a life of war becomes a refugee from it.”
Robert Jackson Bennett, City of Blades

Jacob Grimm
“nicht der arm der gerechtigkeit, die gewalt nöthigte mich ein land zu räumen, in das man mich berufen, wo ich acht jahre in treuem, ehrenvollen dienste zugebracht hatte. `gib dem herrn eine hand, er ist ein flüchtling‘, sagte eine groszmutter zu ihrem enkel, als ich am 16. december die grenze überschritten hatte. und wo ward ich so genannt? in meinem geburtslande, das an dem abend desselben tages ungern mich mich wieder aufnahm, meine gefährten sogar von sich stiesz.”
Jacob Grimm

“A love I was in no position to receive despite desperately needing it. No. Not I with my castaway, homeless body. Where would I store it? It would fall right through me, sink into the depths of my void. I would have needed so much love, more than any one person is capable of giving, to fill that gaping hole at the center of my life. And, besides his love had been capricious, inconsistent, flighty.”
Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi, Call Me Zebra

“I was born walking, born in the nowhere between galaxies.”
Hannah Lillith Assadi, Sonora

Thi Bui
“This - not any particular piece of Vietnamese culture - is my inheritance: the inexplicable need ad extraordinary ability to run when the shit hits the fan. My refugee reflex.”
Thi Bui, The Best We Could Do

Mohith Agadi
“Let us remind our leaders that there is no place for personal interests in politics.”
Mohith Agadi

“And so you carried
life for the world, Mary,
as you fled,
to protect that very life
from threats of death.
Joining the world's mass of displaced people
you became
and settled in a foreign land--
the only place
to safely nurture
your fragile dream.
Like so many other women
who flee violence,
clutching their babies,
you crossed the border defining you
a stranger,
dependent on foreign aid, welfare
and hand-outs--
the charity of others--
to feed the Son of God.”
Edwina Gateley, Soul Sisters: Women in Scripture Speak to Women Today

David  Holdsworth
“Jesus wept:
This Prophet, Priest, King
Has a: Holy, Priesthood, Chosen!
This Refugee, Homeless, Healer
Has a Celebrity, TV, Mega - church?
God business to show business.
Where did it go wrong?
Jesus weeps.”
David Holdsworth

Aysha Taryam
“At times it seems as if the whole world has become a refugee and the few of us, who are privileged enough to wake up to the sound of an alarm clock instead of a siren, those of us who are enveloped by a veil of safety many of us fail to appreciate, have become desensitised to the migrating numbers, to the images of the dead, shrugging them away as a collective misery that this ailing part of the world must endure.”
Aysha Taryam

Richard Flanagan
“The most important thing is our dignity. If we have that we can survive on bread and water.”
Richard Flanagan, Notes on an Exodus

Abeer Allan
“أرى الأمل في عيونهم الهاربة متشبثاً بحبل ليتسلق خارجاً من بئر همومهم المختنقة بين جدران صدورهم المعبّقة بدخان النيران والطلقات الرصاصية، ليصطدم بالأمواج المنكسرة ما بين عيونهم والحياة...
يبحثون عن جواز سفر...
اسمه جواز سفر... ولسخرية القدر وتناقض المسميّات فهو وثيقة "قد" تسمح بكل شيء إلا السفر، ربّما أخطأوا في هذه التسمية، كان من الأجدر تسميته "جواز حياة"، لأن من قرر تقسيم هذه الأرض إلى حدود ... قرر معها تقسيم حق الإنسان في الحياة.
أيُعقل أن يهرب الأطفال والرجال والنساء من موطنهم إلى بلاد أخرى تفصلها حدود يحرسها من حالفهم الحظ وحصلوا على "جواز سفر" ذات "قيمة حياتية" أعلى؟
أيُعقل أن يحاول اجتياز البحار مئات الأبرياء... ويدفعوا آلاف الدولارات ليصادقوا المهرّبين آملين بأن تُفتح نافذة جديدة لهم على الحياة... ومع هذا ورغم القوارب الخائبة... يصل منهم حيّا بضعة عشرات والباقي أضحى مفقوداً أو جثثاً لا قيمة لها في الحياة... وكأنهم أرواحاً غلفتها أجسادٌ مكروهة ومنبوذة في كل بقاع الأرض الموحشة.
أحياتهم ليست جديرة وذات أهمية كبيرة بما يكفي بأن نشاركهم الحياة؟
بأصواتهم المبحوحة... غنّوا للحياة والحرية وبقلوبهم الموجوعة أحبّوا الحياة ولسوء حظهم جواز سفرهم قتلهم...”
Abeer Allan

Richard Flanagan
“One small boy jumps over a table, pulls his jumper and shirt up, and turns his back to us to show where shrapnel wounded him when he was three. His classmates shriek with laughter.”
Richard Flanagan, Notes on an Exodus

“What greater sorrow than being forced to leave behind my native earth?”
Euripides, Electra

Alexander McCall Smith
“…one of the coasts of a country that was a lifeboat, and that lifeboat was under siege by people who wanted to be taken on board. She thought to the southern shores of Italy and the boats that came up from the south, crammed with the desperate of North Africa striving to get into Europe. The vessels capsized under their human cargo; there were people in the water, their dream coming to a watery end. How could one turn one’s face against all of that? What sort of person would one have to be to sail past?”
Alexander McCall Smith, The Novel Habits of Happiness

Gulwali Passarlay
“One of the strangest things about this journey was how whenever a smuggler or a driver gave us an instruction, we simply followed it. Whether it was get in the car, stay silent, follow me, eat this, shave your beard, hand over your passport - we simply followed orders. Without questioning or really even thinking, we put our lives into the hands of strangers, time and again. We had no choice. When they said come, we little lost sheep had to follow.

It's very hard to explain the feeling of repeatedly putting your complete trust into the hands of strangers who see you as a commodity. Every time I did as one of these men asked, I had an acute awareness that this could be the last instruction I would ever follow. Each of these men had the power to take us to our deaths, at any time.”
Gulwali Passarlay, The Lightless Sky: A Twelve-Year-Old Refugee's Harrowing Escape from Afghanistan and His Extraordinary Journey Across Half the World

Darnell Lamont Walker
“Racism in impenetrable. Staying in America means always fighting. For our own sanity and safety, we must go.”
Darnell Lamont Walker

Aanchal Malhotra
“The notion that where one is from can be understood using what remains of that place opens up a highly sensitive and rich terrain that can help unpack belonging, especially if that place has now been rendered inaccessible by national borders.”
Aanchal Malhotra, Remnants of a Separation: A History of the Partition through Material Memory

Kao Kalia Yang
“My children wanted me to be brave. They did not understand that I have been running from the nightmare of what happened in Laos since I left. Or that there were things waiting for me in Thailand, little boys and lost dogs, that I knew I could never return to. They did not understand that the bravery they asked of me I never had in Laos or Thailand, and I could not have it on returning to those countries.”
Kao Kalia Yang, The Song Poet: A Memoir of My Father

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