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What is it like to be a refugee? It is a question few in the West give much thought, and yet to be a refugee – or an immigrant – is to grapple with your place in the world, attempting to reconcile the life you have known with the unfamiliar. With this comes the weight of the expectations (and fears and resentment) of those born in the host country; foremost is the burden of gratitude: to be forever thankful for the space you have been allowed.
Nayeri weaves together the story of her own refugee journey – as a child forced to flee Iran, eventually finding asylum in America – with the stories of others making their own journeys today. She sets out the stages of the refugee experience, and gives voice to those in today’s refugee camps, or who are trying to settle in a new country, and for many of whom the search for home can be a forever state.
The Ungrateful Refugee offers a new, complete narrative of resettlement, and recalibrates the conversation around the refugee experience. But above all here are the real human stories of what it is like to be forced to flee your home, to journey in hope of a better, safer life, and, for the lucky few, the struggle to start afresh in a new culture.
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