"Injustice flourishes in soil where empathy has been uprooted.”
…I am told I have no country now
I am told I am a lie
I am told that modern history books
May forget my name.
We can all be refugees
Sometimes it only takes a day,
Sometimes it only takes a handshake
Or a paper that is signed.
We all came from refugees
Nobody simply just appeared,
Nobody's here without a struggle,
And why should we live in fear
Of the weather or the troubles?
We all came here from somewhere.-Benjamin Zephaniah
This is the crisis of our times, and how we respond to it is a test of our values, our spirit, our humanity, our ingenuity, our generosity, and our sincerity
The Gift of Refugees and Migrants
'The Refugee's Gift:Here are people who have escaped from persecution and who have benefited from our long tradition of offering asylum. They may have arrived recently from conflicts in Syria, Eritrea, or Somalia, or sought safety decades ago from Hitler’s Germany. Men and women, young and old, rich and poor, most arrived with few material possessions – but they all came with an unstoppable determination to make a new life.’-Refugee Council, UK
‘It is a compelling theory, especially when you reflect upon the fact that Albert Einstein, Sigmund Freud, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rudolf Nuryev, Marlene Dietrich, Alexandre Solzhenitsyn and Vladimir Nabokov were among but a few celebrity refugees and migrants.
Imagine what the world would have missed had they not managed to forge a better life outside their country of origin.’-RadioFreeEurope
For our first ever GCGI Christmas appeal, I have chosen refugees as our theme, not just to raise money for a refugee in Germany, but as an act of solidarity. Our appeal slogan is We Stand Together: a stand against intolerance, xenophobia, racism and fear; a stand against building walls between nations and peoples, a stand for empathy, sympathy and generosity. And a stand for clarity and perspective: Brexit and Donald Trump have shown us that our cause is noble, timely and greatly needed: As informed individuals, we know that one must not start to equate the issue of refugees with terrorism.
Our appeal is very modest: to raise a small sum of money for a refugee in Germany, so that we can say it, loud and clear: We stand against inhumanity and we are all for social justice, peace and harmony on this planet earth, we call our home.
Syrian refugee Ghuzoun meets German teacher and artist Brigitte
Introduction by Kamran Mofid
Brigitte, a dear friend of the GCGI, is a German teacher, artist, activist and volunteer, working directly with refugees and asylum seekers in Germany, supporting them to rebuild their lives, helping them to settle down, finding their path and calling to a better life.
One of those refugees that Brigitte has worked with is Ghuzoun Hazwani, a refugee from Syria. With the help and encouragement from Brigitte, Ghuzoun started to do portraits of her loved ones as a path to healing, inner-peace and contentment. Below, in her own words and sentiments, Brigitte has explained a bit more for your reflection.