About

 

 

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Maryam (left)  and Najma (right) are from Afghanistan. They live in Skaramagas with their father, Amir. He attends the adult English class I teach.

 

I am serving in Athens, Greece, on a nine-month research grant, documenting the integration of and asylum seekers. This website catalogs my experiences with refugees and asylum seekers around Greece. I am honored to have the opportunity to interact with such inspiring, resilient, and hospitable people, who have opened up to me about their lives. This website would not be possible if it were not for them. I hope those who visit this site use it as a foundation for a greater understanding of what is going on in the world, especially regarding the state of refugees across Europe and the Middle East, the conflicts raging in their countries, and the policies affecting their¬†movement around Europe. This site aims to build awareness about the conditions in which refugees and asylum seekers are living and to depict them as more than just statistics or burdens to foreign governments. Decisions and policies regarding the fate of these individuals are generally made at high levels of bureaucracy, where change may not occur as quickly as we might hope. However, I am a firm believer in the power of people’s stories, and the impact those stories can have by making us actively remember those individuals who tend to be forgotten. Every second of my time in Greece forces me to think more deeply about how to contribute to a better understanding of the current plight of refugees and asylum seekers. I urge you to use this website as a tool to do the same, deepening your own understanding and encouraging others to deepen theirs. “Knowledge is power,” but only if those who have it are willing to share it with those who don’t.

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