I grew up in the same city, on the same street, in the same house for the first twenty years of my life. I always felt safe: thoughts of brutality, violence or war never crossed my mind. My parents never considered packing us all up and travelling to a new country to begin a better life.
And yet, this is the reality that millions have faced in years past and still today. It is a reality I simply cannot imagine. To leave your job, your home, your country – to leave all you’ve ever known – and start over.
We saw a performance at the Citadel Theatre on Saturday night entitled Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story. Consider this lyric: “Where are we welcome? Where will we thrive? Where are we going? Will we survive?”
The journey itself can be treacherous and many do not survive. And those who do face the shock of a new country and all that goes along with it: the people, the culture, the climate.
The refugee story is replayed time and time again. Stories from our parents, grandparents or great-grandparents. Stories from the family next door. Stories from the children in our classrooms. From different countries, cultures and specific circumstances, sure. A similar story all the same. Stories of fear, heartbreak and loss. Yet also stories of hope.