The World’s Eyes on Refugees

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Statue of Liberty sunsetToday in New York City, global leaders are coming together to focus problem-solving energy on the worldwide migrant and refugee crisis. The fact that world leaders are pausing to focus on refugees and migrants speaks to the sense of urgency and complexity of the current crisis.

But the real test will be the days after the Summit, and how governments of the world will demonstrate shared commitment to embracing this growing number of refugees. We are hopeful that there is still time left in this current administration for the President to take bold action regarding the crisis.

Waheed Alam, a refugee from Pakistan who now lives in Nebraska, shares his thoughts about the importance of this week’s international summits. Waheed says,

The number of displaced people has surpassed the post-World War II number, which shows the intensity of this crisis that needs immediate attention from world leaders. This is a global crisis and the whole world needs to sit together to find the solution for the most vulnerable people scattered around the world.

Now this is not the problem of conflict prone countries or their neighboring countries but the entire world community should find the ways to help those who left everything to protect their lives. This refugee crisis offers an opportunity: for those who have compassion for humanity–it’s time to show it, for those who talk about human rights–it’s time to practice, for those who want to be leaders–it’s time to lead the world and make all of us responsible to put our share toward the solution and come up with comprehensive plan before winter brings more catastrophe to those knocking on the border of many countries.

As a reminder, Waheed shares these lines that appear on the pedestal of the Statue of Liberty. May we as individuals and nations in a global community remember this spirit of welcome.

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

–Emma Lazarus

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