Refugees arriving on Europe’s shores are exhausted and traumatised by the war and devastation they’ve just fled from. They’ve been forced to leave their homes behind and have risked their lives over sea and land to reach safety. These victims are grateful for the opportunity to rebuild their lives in a peaceful country where people’s rights are respected. It’s sad therefore, that these desperate, vulnerable human beings are sometimes viewed as a threat to our society.
But the fact is that the vast majority of them aren’t here to just “take”. Over the years, refugees and their children have made enormously valuable contributions to our country and to the world as a whole.
From science and technology, to politics and the arts, these people have given us so much.
In the second of our series, here are 4 more refugees who have made a difference to the world
Born in Hargeisa, Somalia, Mo moved to the UK when he was eight years old, not knowing a word of English. He rose to fame while doing his A-Levels when his PE teacher noticed his talents.
Today Mo has a CBE and 4 Olympic gold medals. He is also a role model and motivator for many young people and aspiring athletes.
2. Iman Mohamed
Iman is one of the world’s most famous supermodels. After fleeing war in Somalia and making the journey to Kenya with her family, Iman was discovered and sent to America to start her career.
An actress, model and global entrepreneur, Iman is a multi-millionaire who has championed humanitarian work and helped thousands of people through her charitable projects. Oh, and she was married to David Bowie for 24 years, until his death earlier this year.
3. K’Naan K’Naan
The rapper and musician’s name means traveler, and he certainly has been one. With his socially conscious lyrics and memories of fleeing the civil war in his native Somalia, K’naan mixed styles and rhythms to make a distinct and brilliant African rap.
From touring the world, to releasing a number of albums, and performing for the UN’s event marking the 50th anniversary of the creation of its refugee agency, K’naan is a great activist and role model.
4. Waris Dirie
Model, author and activist, this super woman has done it all! Serving as a UN special ambassador, Waris championed women’s issues, including FGM. She was born to a nomadic family but fled to Mogadishu when she was 13, later moving to London to live with her uncle. Her first job was at a local McDonald’s!
Eventually leaving modelling for social causes, Waris started the Desert Rose Foundation to raise money for a number of projects helping girls and women. What an inspiration!
Of course, there are many refugees who aren’t famous who are quietly making the world around them better.
Which refugees are you inspired by? Let us know and we might feature them in our next instalment!