Sonita has been a refugee for her entire life. Born in a refugee camp in Pakistan, Sonita had never seen her family’s homeland of Afghanistan—until, faced with discrimination in Pakistan and possible deportation, her parents decided to return. But despite the end of the war, Afghanistan is not the home Sonita’s parents and sister remember. Sonita must adjust to life in a homeland she has never known, and work hard to survive and thrive in a country still full of conflict and insecurity. Interwoven with facts about the conflict in Afghanistan, Sonita’s story gives a look at the experiences of Afghan refugees forced to return to a home that no longer exists.
Memories of fleeing war in Iraq, living in the refugee camp in Jordan, and the scary journey to the United States now seem far away to Zainab. But every day, as she attends school, plays sports, and participates in community groups in her new home in Dearborn, Michigan, she is aware that she will always be part of two cultures. Interwoven with facts about Iraq’s conflict and the experiences of Iraqi refugees around the world, Zainab’s story offers a thoughtful and unique look at the challenges—and triumphs—faced and experienced by refugees in their new homes.
Roj and his family have lived in Germany for three years after fleeing civil war in Syria. Although his family faces discrimination from some in their small village, and hearing news about home from friends and family can be sad, Roj’s dreams for the future are high as he faces each new challenge with hope and resilience. Interspersed with facts about the current situation in Syria and the experiences of Syrian refugees in different countries, Roj’s story offers a window into the complex and ongoing journey of refugees as they adjust to their new homes.
Martinez longs for the happy, stable home he had in Guatemala—before gang violence forced them to flee to Mexico. And now, he is being uprooted again. His mother has decided they must return to Guatemala to take care of the extended family. Martinez is scared to return—but the love of his family and support of his new rural community in Guatemala gives him hope for a future without violence. Paired with facts about the instability in Guatemala and the experience of displaced persons there, Martinez’s story offers a unique look at the fear—and resilience—refugees experience when they must return home.
Syed was forced to flee his homeland of Myanmar because of extreme violence and persecution against the Rohingya minority. After traveling by boat to Malaysia to meet up with his brother, Nazir, Syed must survive “underground” in a country in which he is not welcome. Interwoven with facts about the Rohingya humanitarian crisis and how refugees survive in countries such as Malaysia, Syed’s story sheds light on the plight of Rohingya refugees around the world.
After fleeing civil war in Yemen, Sahar knows that she and her family are lucky to have escaped the violence and survived the trip to Toronto, Canada. Although she still has nightmares about bombings and losing her baby brother—Sahar cannot believe how quickly her English is improving, and how much fun she had trick-or-treating on Halloween for the first time. Paired with facts about the current situation in Yemen and how different countries work to welcome and support refugees, Sahar’s story gives insight on a refugee’s life in a new country.
Baseema’s family was nearly torn apart by the terrorist violence of Boko Haram in her homeland of Nigeria. Forced to flee their farm, they relied on friends of her father for a home and support. Still unable to return, the family moves again to Kano, the second largest city in Nigeria, and struggles to survive. Baseema’s story gives a glimpse of how many refugees rely on extended networks of family and friends and how, with education disrupted, young women are often forced to marry early.