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Refugee Week and sharing refugee stories. Some thoughts.


At the time of writing this, I have completed 108 interviews for the 177 Nations of Tasmania podcast. These have spanned a whole gamut of different experiences, and included a good number who fled their countries of birth under some sort of duress. Although in recent times most refugees are predominantly from non-white, non-Caucasian parts of the world ( Ukraine being a major exception), perhaps making it easier to demonise them in the eyes of certain segments of the public by cynical political manipulators, it was not too long back in history that huge numbers of refugees were displaced by war or breached the Iron Curtain to seek freedom and stability in the West. Being a refugee is often a matter of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and of being a victim of circumstances. It could be for being merely a member of the wrong minority whether religious, political or racial. People who become refugees were often living quite normal, peaceful lives when a massive events happens that has turned their lives and those of millions of others upside down. The war in Ukraine, the genocide in Rwanda, the military coup in Chile are all cases in point, and you can hear personal stories on the podcast about all of these.


I certainly would encourage you to listen to some of the stories below and share them with your friends, because I think it's more important than ever to raise awareness of the issues which drive people to flee their countries and seek asylum and also to recognise that they are all just normal human beings like us, who have had to face a brutal set of circumstances beyond their control. In all the stories, it's struck me just what normal and peaceful , even prosperous lives, many of these people were living before the situation changed in a dramatic way.



Refugee stories


World War 2 refugees





Communism in Eastern Europe
















Civil wars in Africa and Middle East


















Ethnic cleansing/genocide
















Political refugees







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