Yesterday I went to the Goethe Institute (German Arts Institute) in DC, expecting to see a short film about the refugee project. Not knowing much about the event, I was just attending the session as something interesting to do. At the end of the night, I was completely moved and affected by the stories told in the film.
This was part of The Refugee Experience Series. It includes a series of documentaries about refugees from all parts of the world. Each documentary took about 3 years to film. It allows you to see the transformation from the lives in the refugee camp, to the first day in a foreign land, learning modernization, a new culture, getting the first job, and the psychological experience throughout.
Imagine leaving behind everything you’ve ever known and everyone you loved, in order to get freedom. The experiences that refugees go through are something most people may not ever comprehend. Often refugees in this country work 2 or 3 jobs to save enough money to not only support themselves, but their families back home, in this case, Sudan. One common theme from every refugee’s stories was that they want to help to get their friends and families out of their current conditions. It was such a humbling experience watching the film.
Seeing the living conditions of the refugees in Sudan, where most people do not get to have ‘a’ meal every day, where their children have never seen electricity or running water. All of the sudden I felt a great urge to simplify my life. There are so many things we have that are unnecessary. We take the little things for granted, like freedom, or having cloths on our backs.
I could go on-and-on about the heart felt stories I saw yesterday.. All I want to share with all is that: next time you see a foreigner on the street or waiting in line next to you, please reach out and say hello or simply smile. Because most of them have lived through horrible experiences (from the war, refugee camp) that we can never imagine.