Refugee and Asylum seeker identities and personalities are, like all humans, complex and formed by internal and external feelings and environments.
The internal feelings stem from beliefs, cultural traditions and religious affiliations. However, external factors result from resettlement practices, mandatory policies, social, political and economic conditions.
Often when refugees and asylum seekers reach a country they are housed in camps or detained, awaiting processing.
In this time, they are subjected to feelings of being outsiders and in a sense they are in limbo. Their lives are on hold. They often cannot work in their new country, and the schooling of their children becomes more difficult.
The impact of further labelling these individuals inflicts greater instability regarding a person’s identity and affiliations as to “who are they” and “do they even matter.” Feelings of being an outsider and not knowing one’s fate would no doubt be extremely daunting, particularly when required to flee a country as a last option in order to achieve safety and freedom.
Reaching the shoreline, arriving at the airport or crossing a border is one thing BUT being detained for long periods of time awaiting the outcome of asylum applications would be extremely unforgiving on a person’s autonomy and would contribute to feelings of self worth.
To read further on these issues please click on this link. http://www.unhcr.org/
Upside when we open our arms in the face of humanity
This link provides an overview of people that have come to Australia as a refugee or asylum seeker and have secured a better future: http://www.abc.net.au/news/
This woman was 12 years old when her family smuggled out of Afghanistan and flown into Indonesia on fake passports. Further, Najeeba and her brother set sail to Australia and were intercepted by the Australian Navy in 2000.
She now lives in Western Sydney, is a part of a Women’s Association and is an ambassador for Amnesty International. Additionally, she was a finalist of the Young Human Rights Medial Award.
She has also completed a Bachelor of Medical Science and is now furthering her education via a second degree.
By opening our borders (and our arms and minds) in the face of diversity more positive stories can influence our actions to understand why people flee and demonstrate what a little faith in humanity can achieve.
Please, read the above links for further information and especially the ABC link as it shows why people flee and what they can achieve when they are welcomed into their new country of residence.