this is me in the 70’s at my beloved grandmother’s house.
i am a pure and proud product of immigration.
My Christian grandmother escaped poverty in Italy between the two wars and crossed the Alps with mother and brothers in search of a better life in the mining towns of north east France … Meanwhile, my Jewish grandmother in law was leaving Aleppo (and never turning back) for a newly-married life in south east Turkey under Ataturk’s progressive rules … and in the 1960s, my Muslim father studied day and night in his cramped house in Algiers, shared with 12 brothers and sisters, to secure a scholarship and go study in France, a land of opportunities compared to the bleak future that awaited him in Algeria. When I was 13, an ignorant boy in my class called me dirty arab, and while it hurt deep inside, it did not deter me from being true to myself. I too later emigrated, a scholarship in my pocket, to work hard play hard the American way. I paid my dues for my green card and was lucky to meet my husband in the great melting pot that are the USA.
I might be Christian Muslim or Jewish, who cares, it’s nobody’s business.
I am a pure and proud product of immigration.
And so are my children, and so will be their children, and the children of their children.
Love Respect and Compassion have no frontiers.
We are all special with our own stories. We all come from somewhere near and far. We are all immigrants.
I’d love to read your story if you feel like sharing it.
This post was a call from the heart, prompted by one of the campaigns on the Help Refugees‘ website with the hashtag #refugenes i.e. we all have refugees heritage in our genes.