From the Point of View of… Mardjan Seighali

“Many people fail to realize that refugees have been through a lot, not just to get here, but also before. There is a reason why they have become refugees. And they carry that with them for the rest of their lives. When they flee, they are separated from their families, culture and language – sometimes forever, and, in many cases, without being able to say goodbye to their loved ones. Metaphorically speaking, it is like an internal amputation, or invisible scar. I have met with my mother since, but I never saw my father again. And they have now both passed away. When you leave your family, you forego the chance to hold your father’s hand, or to give your mother one last kiss as she leaves this world behind her. You have to find a way to hold this love in your heart, without allowing it to distract you from the path you have chosen. Leaving all this behind makes what you get in return very valuable. Which is why I find it very painful when people say ‘Our country is full.’ Or when they see a refugee as someone who has come to take their job or to occupy a little piece of their country. Everyone has a right to a decent life and you should treat people as you would like to be treated.”

Mardjan Seighali, Director of UAF (Foundation for Refugee Students)

To read the full article buy The XPat Journal Autumn 2014 Issue or subscribe online
Stephanie Dijkstra
2014 Autumn

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