June 19 – Refugees and Resistance Around the World
In this final week, we look at two things, mostly blended together. One, we consider refugees from various parts of the world headed to various parts of the world. Two, we consider various sites opposed to refugees and the changes they bring to host cities and countries.
Meanwhile, you are continuing with your final paper for next week.
We start with a review of American approaches to immigration over time. This article begins by criticizing Benjamin Franklin for wanting some limits on immigration from Germany.
Next is an historical look at Polish refugees fleeing World War II for the safety of Iran. The similarities to what we see today, but in the other direction, are striking. A PRI story relates similar Europe-to-Middle East refugee flow with an account of life for Europeans in refugee camps in Palestine and Egypt.
We proceed with two short stories, from al-Jazeera and Quartz, about changing attitudes from one of the world’s most welcoming countries – Sweden. It has taken in refugees from crises around the world for decades, but the surge of Syrian refugees last year has led some Swedes to want to be more cautious. The BBC offers a similar report from Germany.
We introduce one more sea-faring migrant wave, the Rohingya from Myanmar. The Council of Foreign Relations is a top-quality research/think-tank organization in New York, and produces the highly-influential Foreign Affairs magazine.
Sentiments from nervous locals are paired with dissuasive efforts from immigration organizations. The International Organization for Migration – a policy and service advocate – has partnered with Italy to try to persuade people not to come to Europe via lengthy, dangerous boar trips to Italy. Aware Migrants has migrants themselves tell stories that are usually embarrassing or taboo – that Europe’s roads are not paved with gold but blocked with barbed wire. Beyond being caught by border control agencies or drowning in the Mediterranean, migrants face child sex trafficking and other dangers.
Finally, we take a couple of snapshots from around the world. Recent reports offer a glimpse at South Sudanese fleeing to Uganda, Australia‘s strict limits, and longstanding reluctance of Americans to welcome refugees. An updated view of anti-immigration sentiment in the U.S. can be seen at Breitbart and FAIR.
If you are interested in longer, personal versions of refugees, you might consider any of these:
Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Infidel – from Somalia refugee to Kenya, to asylum and elected office in the Netherlands, to exile in the U.S.
Qubad Talabani, in Q. Lawrence, Invisible Nation – deputy prime minister of the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, raised in the safety of London far from Saddam Hussein, returned home to quasi-independent Kurdistan, literally chased into the mountains by a rival Kurdish clan, and later restored to diplomatic and political prominence.
Saima Wahab, In My Father’s Country, Soviet invasion chases a child refugee from Afghanistan into Pakistan and the United States; she returns to Afghanistan when her new country invades her Pashtun “home.” Cheat sheet: Saima’s interview on Jon Stewart‘s The Daily Show. I’ve met her a couple of times and she’s amazing – watch the interview.
You should read all the material and watch the videos. Since you are working furiously on your paper, though, answer the essay prompts in approx 300 words – but replying to your classmates is optional.
Wide open this week – you choose the topic, length, and message of your thoughts on this week’s material, by Thursday night. You may choose instead to submit your essay response as a video, posted to our fb page (3 minute max).
Reminder: You should read all the material and watch the videos. Since you are working furiously on your paper, though, answer the essay prompts in approx 300 words – but replying to your classmates is optional.
Facebook news posts and replies to your classmates’ fb news posts are completely optional this week.