Never in history have so many people been displaced by political and military conflicts at home — more than 65 million globally. Unsparing, outspoken, vital, We Are Not Refugees tells the stories of many of these displaced, who have not been given asylum.
For over a decade, human rights journalist Agus Morales has journeyed to the sites of the world’s most brutal conflicts and spoken to the victims of violence and displacement. To Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Central African Republic. To Central America, the Congo, and the refugee camps of Jordan. To the Tibetan Parliament in exile in northern India.
We are living in a time of massive global change, when negative images of refugees undermine the truth of their humiliation and suffering. By bringing us stories that reveal the individual pain and the global scope of the crisis, Morales reminds us of the truth and appeals to our conscience.
Author: Agus Morales | Publisher: Imagine
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the review copy of this book! It’s on sale March 5th.
We Are Not Refugees was an important and very interesting book to read. Agus Morales is a journalist who has spent years traveling the globe, interviewing people who’ve had to flee their homes.
What has come out of those travels are stories and stories and stories. Stories of people who do not think of themselves as “refugees,” because the world has cast “refugees” as poor, destitute, helpless beings. And many these people came from a home where they once lived comfortably, once had a livelihood, once (perhaps still) had a family.
These people are people, and all they want is a safe place where they can go back to being productive members of society.
I think the point that really stood out the most for me was about their smartphones; many people look at these people who come with Nikes, and iPhones, and other consumer goods from our world, and that doesn’t jive right. So they say, “If they’re so poor, why do they have iPhones?”
And to that Morales says: As if a map isn’t the one thing you need when you’re lost. And he says: If I had to flee my home, my belongings, and my family because of danger, the last thing I’d leave behind would be my cellphone.
And despite the valiant effort, I still found it so, so hard to tune into these stories — to keep myself from viewing them at a distance. It’s hard to look at that kind of pain and suffering and feel it consistently. So I think the only thing I can do here is to keep reading stories like these — more and more and more. Maybe then it will stick.