Refugee Lives: Trauma, Celebrations, and Limbo

Photo by Alex Gunn showing graffiti art by refugees in the Zaatari Refugee Camp.
By Michael Murphy
Staff Writer

In 2011, the Syrian Civil War placed refugees on the global stage. Amid al-Assad’s barrel bombs, The Syrian Refugee Crisis was born. Videos depicting thousands of people fleeing their homes filled the airwaves. It wasn’t the first case of forced displacement, but European countries reeled from the sudden surge of humanitarian need all the same, with each country giving a kneejerk reaction on how to handle the hundreds of thousands of newcomers fleeing violence. Meanwhile, millions fled to neighboring countries–Lebanon, Turkey, Egypt, Iraq, and Jordan—each already struggling with the refugees of the wars in the previous century. Before long, attention turned to North Africa. Images of rubber boats filled to the brim with desperate souls being tossed on the waves of the Mediterranean became unavoidable. Finally, in 2015, the image of Alan Kurdi, a young boy whose body lay on the beach after having drowned on the journey from Turkey to Europe, drew virulent international outrage.

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A New Era of Persecution and Protest: What the Citizenship Amendment Act Means for the Future of India

India’s Citizenship Amendment Act passed by Prime Minister Modi is causing a dangerous divide amongst religious groups in India. With great suffering and resistance fueling the protest, many are fighting back to maintain a unified nation. 

by Isana Raja
Staff Writer

“My lifetime earnings are all but in ashes.” Business owner Mohammed Azad said about when he awoke to find his shop in shambles. The market, located in a Muslim neighborhood of New Delhi, had sustained Azad and his family for years. But now, it has been vandalized and utterly destroyed, leaving behind a legacy of crumbled concrete—  charred and indistinguishable. Residents of the area in the conjoined buildings all had to flee their homes as well, as fire from a tear gas chemical made its way through the street. 

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War, Sea, and Wall: The Triple Tragedy of Refugees Fleeing to Greece

Kara Tepe Refugee Camp on the Greek island of Lesbos by United Nations Photo

by Raafiya Ali Khan
Staff Writer

The Oxford English Dictionary defines sea as the continuous body of saltwater that covers the greater part of the earth’s surface. While the literal meaning of sea can be discovered easily by just a few clicks on the internet, it symbolizes much more than merely a body of water for those attempting to traverse its treacherous waves. The sea is a natural paradox; it is used as a means of survival for most, yet it can also lead to the ultimate end: a watery death. Refugees know the risk of maritime travel, yet choose to sail in dangerous conditions, hoping to arrive at lands that may promise them a better future, rather than the war-torn ones they have left behind. As of 2018, most refugees arriving on Greece’s shores and applying for asylum are from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq, escaping a civil war, as in Syria’s case, or violence resulting from domestic unrest and political crises. The most prominent example of the perils refugees face is encapsulated in the 2016 Olympic swimmer Yusra Mardini’s story. 

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