Refugee Quotes

We’ve sourced some of the most interesting and thought-provoking Refugee Quotes from Winnie Byanyima, Leila Janah, Clemantine Wamariya, Jamie Cullum, Kapil Sharma. Each of the following quotes is overflowing with creativity, and knowledge.

I grew up in a country that was in a civil conflict for

I grew up in a country that was in a civil conflict for most of my childhood and adolescence. I saw violence and lived as a teenager through the time of a brutal dictator called Idi Amin. I fled and became a refugee.
Winnie Byanyima
I own a shameless number of ethnic necklaces acquired at local markets in developing countries or inherited from my grandmother. These have seen me through meetings in Davos and visits to refugee camps.
Leila Janah
I am not a refugee. I sought refuge for many years, but the word ‘refugee’ does not define me. It just limits me and puts me in a box.
Clemantine Wamariya
My grandmother on my father’s side, a nightclub singer, was a Jewish refugee from Prussia who ended up in Jerusalem, where she met my grandfather – a British army officer. I remember as a child having bowls of chicken soup made by her. There were lots of interesting components, like feet and necks.
Jamie Cullum
I hate light… I feel like at night, it’s safer. If anything happens, there’s a way to hide at night. Another thing I hate about light is it reminds me about being in a refugee camp and being outside.
Clemantine Wamariya
It was a unique childhood, to say the least. My father was born in Patiala to refugee parents and was a part of the Indian Air Force. The talented few amongst the Air Force pilots are made test pilots. Test pilots are best suited to look at the space programme as they are trained to expect the unexpected.
Kapil Sharma
I love ‘Exit West’ by Mohsin Hamid. It’s a magical realism retelling of the refugee experience, where people find these magical doors that transport them to another country.
Julien Baker
While much attention was focused on Germany during the 2015 refugee crisis, in which more than a million migrants from the Middle East and Africa entered the continent at the behest of Angela Merkel, the country that admitted the most migrants per capita was Sweden.
Andy Ngo
Jordan is the only Arab state that has provided citizenship to Palestinian refugees and integrated them. But something has to be done about the Palestinians living in refugee camps in Syria and Lebanon.
Walter Russell Mead
The deplorable Syrian refugee crisis was created because Syrian President Bashar al-Assad started a war on his people, and the international community refused to confront him.
Richard Grenell
I know what it’s like when you are a refugee, living on the mercy of others and having to adjust.
Martti Ahtisaari
Several hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs live in slums known as refugee camps in Gaza, Judea, and Somalia. Attempts by Israel to rehabilitate and oust them have been defeated by Arab objections. Nor has their fate been any better in Arab states.
Yitzhak Shamir
Enough of Sicily being the refugee camp of Europe. I will not stand by and do nothing while there are landings after landings of migrants.
Matteo Salvini
I deserved the National Award for ‘Border,’ but got it for ‘Refugee.’
Anu Malik
‘The Odyssey’ is a great poem to refugee-dom… Odysseus is not entirely a refugee… he’s somebody who’s blown off course. The entire book is an exploration of that theme… I reread it every year… That’s not as surprising as it sounds, because it’s a rip-roaring book.
Lawrence Osborne
People living in refugee camps currently do not have access to the healthcare that they need during a pandemic.
Vick Hope
We know that ISIS desires operationally to use the Syrian refugee program to infiltrate countries, to use migrant flows as a way to gain an operational foothold in other countries.
Stephen Miller
I get to say I was alive when the first Palestinian woman went to Congress. I was alive when the first Somali woman, in a hijab, who’s black and Muslim – she’s literally an immigrant, a refugee, black and Muslim and a woman and progressive.
Linda Sarsour
A rapidly expanding Syrian refugee policy could create conditions for domestic tragedy.
Jeff Fortenberry
I spent time in refugee camps in Southeast Asia, and in the projects of Chicago. I’ve been to State dinners with Presidents. I met the Queen of England on a beach in Anguilla. No one is any more valuable or important than you are. No one is more important than your family and your friends.
Carole Radziwill
You don’t want to end up telling somebody who’s homeless or a refugee that stress is all perceptual, because it sure isn’t in those cases. But most of us have fairly neurotic middle-class stressors.
Robert Sapolsky
The political solutions to the refugee crisis may be complex, but that does not mean we should abandon our humanity. We should not close our hearts, retreat behind walls, real or imagined, or ignore the pressing moral imperative to provide assistance and sanctuary for some of the world’s most desperate people.
Katharine Viner
My experience as a refugee had made me strong; I could survive anything, even the world of fashion.
Alek Wek
My father left Nazi Germany a year after Dr. Kissinger, and so in my household he was very much an icon. He was a kind of immigrant success story, a refugee success story.
Eugene Jarecki
Refugee policy is only one part of immigration law needing a drastic overhaul.
Tom Tancredo
The refugee crisis is a challenge for the whole of Europe, and Europe – it’s a very fair point to say it’s not just a security issue. It’s also an economic issue.
Emmanuel Macron
Since when can somebody tell me a time or a case where there has been a Syrian refugee in this country who has committed an act of terror?
Linda Sarsour
My father came by himself across the North Korean border when he was seventeen. And hasn’t seen his brothers or sisters or parents since then. And he died some time ago, but never saw any of his relatives. My mother was a refugee in war-torn Korea.
Jim Yong Kim
I lived in an atmosphere where Mama brought 60 Basque refugee children to England during the Spanish Civil War in the 1930s.
Richard Attenborough
I was raised as an upper-class WASP in New England, and there was this old tradition there that everyone would simply be guided into the right way after Ivy League college and onward and upward. And it rejected me, I rejected it, and I ended up as a kind of refugee, really.
Spalding Gray
There are a lot of us that want to see limitations on refugee resettlement programs.
Jeff Duncan
On my father’s side, I’m descended from immigrants, one of whom was a Syrian refugee from the Armenian genocide, and my mother was an immigrant from Germany whose visa had expired and, for a year and change, was undocumented here in the U.S.
Alexis Ohanian
We need to hit pause, and possibly reset, as we think about this whole Syrian refugee resettlement issue.
Jeff Duncan
The Palestine I know is a place where Christians and Muslims are equal. My mother, a Muslim village girl, attended a Catholic girls’ school in Ramallah, and my refugee husband spent the Second Intifada side by side with his Christian brothers from Bethlehem.
Maysoon Zayid
I clearly remember the pain of partition; the whole of Delhi was seeing the struggle of refugees. We stayed near Roshanara Bagh, and the whole city appeared like a refugee camp.
My favorite charity is the Women’s Refugee Commission and the Nomi network.
Mamie Gummer
As a Jewish refugee from the Soviet Union, I felt it was ridiculous to expect me to atone for the sins of slavery and segregation, to say nothing of the household drudgery and workplace discrimination suffered by women.
Max Boot
A lot of people are thanking me for standing up, but I don’t want to be the only one standing up. Our political leaders are important. But I don’t see anyone hunting down these guys setting refugee camps on fire or sending them to jail.
Til Schweiger
It was less in pity than in anger that the world was moved by the photograph of little Alan Kurdi, that dead three-year-old Syrian refugee boy whose name we’re all remembering now on the first anniversary of his drowning, along with his five-year-old brother Galip and their mother Rehanna.
Terry Glavin
I am a refugee: my parents fled Chile under Pinochet in 1976 when I was 9 months old, and my parents were able to start from nothing and make lives for themselves in the United States.
Pedro Pascal
People have been born in refugee camps and they are getting tired of that.
Javier Bardem
My mother was born in a refugee camp in Germany before the family immigrated to western Canada. They were able to get visas thanks to my grandfather’s older sister, who had immigrated between the wars.
Chrystia Freeland
Tools can rule men sooner than they expect; the plow makes man the lord of the garden but also the refugee from the dust bowl.
Ivan Illich
My father was born on Christmas Day in 1934. He grew up in what is now part of North Korea. When the Korean War began, my father was 16, and he found passage on an American refugee ship,thinking he’d be gone for just a few days, but he never saw his mother or his sister again.
Min Jin Lee
If you’re an Islamic terrorist, probably the last program I’d use to try to get into this country is the refugee program.
Ron Johnson
If anyone in the E.U. thinks Italy should keep being a landing point and refugee camp, they have misunderstood.
Matteo Salvini
My grandmother – my mother’s mother – was a German Jewish refugee, an only child who came here from Berlin in 1936 at the age of 17.
Sarah Gavron
European leaders cannot afford to be afraid. The refugee crisis is not one from which they can opt out. No magic wand will empower leaders to transport more than a million people back across the Aegean and the Bosphorus to Mosul and Aleppo, or across the Mediterranean to Eritrea, Somalia, and Sudan.
Jose Angel Gurria
Poland is ready to admit every refugee who arrives in Poland, fleeing the war in the Middle East, no matter their faith or economic status, provided that they comply with our legal regulations and want to stay in our country.
Andrzej Duda
Doesn’t the world see the suffering of millions of Palestinians who have been living in exile around the world or in refugee camps for the past 60 years? No state, no home, no identity, no right to work. Doesn’t the world see this injustice?
Ismail Haniyeh
What mattered about Alan Kurdi’s photograph was that it made Canadians very angry, and the Conservatives, Liberals and New Democrats ended up competing with each other over which party was offering the most generous refugee policy.
Terry Glavin
My mother left Hungary as a refugee, and she is not nostalgic for the life that she had back in Hungary, and yet Cubans certainly want the economic opportunity in the United States, but they’re desperately homesick for the culture that they left behind.
Brin-Jonathan Butler
Save the Children is also working to improve accommodation for refugee families living outside settlements. I met a family which had been living in a substandard building without windows, doors or a toilet.
Gemma Chan
If we do not change our negative habits toward climate change, we can count on worldwide disruptions in food production, resulting in mass migration, refugee crises and increased conflict over scarce natural resources like water and farm land. This is a recipe for major security problems.
Michael Franti
Photographer James Nachtwey has spent his professional life in the places people most want to avoid: war zones and refugee camps, the city flattened by an earthquake, the village swallowed by a flood, the farm hollowed out by famine.
Nancy Gibbs
While my life shifts from refugee camps to red carpets, I choose them both because these worlds can, in fact, coexist. And for me, they must.
Meghan Markle
I think I’m still chewing on my years as a foreign correspondent. I found myself covering catastrophes – war, uprising, famine, refugee crises – and witnessing how people were affected by dire situations. When I find a story from the past, I bring some of those lessons to bear on the narrative.
Geraldine Brooks
The year when I left my country, there was still peace. The year after, the war broke out, a lot of people lost their homes, lost their families. When I go back 20 years later I still find people living in refugee camps. So I tried to help them find homes.
Vlade Divac
I grew up in a refugee camp. Thirty years. This so-called human-rights world didn’t ask me what was happening for me to be there 30 years.
Paul Kagame
I’ve seen mothers and children really being vulnerable in the refugee camps; it’s supposed to be temporary, but they end up having children who have grown up in refugee camps.
Alek Wek
Under a decades-old agreement, Palestinian refugee camps are supposed to administer and police themselves. Lebanese troops are technically not allowed to enter them.
Richard Engel
I take ISIS at its word. When they said, in their words, ‘We’ll use and exploit the refugee crisis to infiltrate the West,’ that concerns me.
Michael McCaul
I know I got to do something that’s one in a million, to escape a refugee camp, to come to this country and have so many doors open for me. So I want to go back and make a difference and give motivation or hope to all the kids that never got to leave or have the privilege that I did.
Halima Aden
In 1934, the American Jewish charities offered to find homes for 300 German refugee children. We were on the SS Washington, bound for New York, Christmas 1934.
Jack Steinberger
As a child growing up in refugee camps, life taught me that many things were impossible. My older sister, Claire, taught me otherwise when her strength and resilience made the impossible possible in the way she worked, behaved, and took control of our lives.
Clemantine Wamariya
There is a real problem in terms of the refugee flow, the ability of ISIS to infiltrate those refugee flows, our inability to track them.
Ron Johnson
I was a political refugee living in Venezuela. I had a job that was twelve hours a day, no money. It was a hard time.
Isabel Allende
President Obama has argued there isn’t a threat of terrorism from the U.S. refugee program because for individuals who apply it takes two years, ‘heavy vetting’ and is a relatively long process. It doesn’t matter. Jihad is patient, and as ISIS has pledged, it will do whatever it takes to get the job done.
Katie Pavlich
My family had to live in Vienna for three months, then in Italy for another nine, while we waited for refugee status.
Milana Vayntrub
We have a very structured process for taking in refugees. It takes almost two years to transition from another country into the United States through the refugee process.
James Lankford
I spent over 10 years in the Central Intelligence Agency, serving overseas, serving in the Middle East. And let me tell you, if you’re a terrorist and you want to come to the United States, the worst possible way to do it is as a refugee. You’ll go through a year and a half to two years of vetting.
Evan McMullin
I’m a living testament to the value of immigration. I escaped a civil war, and I came to Canada as a refugee, and they gave my family protection. I did my best to pay that country back, and I think I did that.
Chamath Palihapitiya
I was born in India, and we came from a poor family and lived in a rural village. My dad came over to Canada as a refugee, and years later, we were able to join him.
Rupi Kaur
My first experience in the Netherlands was very pleasant, extremely pleasant. I mean, I got my residence permit, refugee status, within four weeks of arrival. People treated me extremely well.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali
Once a refugee, always a refugee. I can’t ever remember not being all right wherever I was, but you don’t give your whole allegiance to a place or want to be entirely identified with the society you’re living in.
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala
In China, it was hard living as a young girl without my family. I had no idea what life was going to be like as a North Korean refugee. But I soon learned it’s not only extremely difficult, it’s also very dangerous, since North Korean refugees are considered in China as illegal migrants.
Lee Hyeon-seo
I have been a foreigner all my life, first as a daughter of diplomats, then as a political refugee and now as an immigrant in the U.S. I have had to leave everything behind and start anew several times, and I have lost most of my extended family.
Isabel Allende
Many people told me not to call the book ‘… Refugee’ because Aussies won’t buy it. I told them I have faith in Aussies, and it makes me a proud Aussie to see that the title hasn’t hurt the book.
Anh Do
I believe in the promise of America. Being a Cuban refugee, having come here when I was eight, I know that this is a shining city on the hill.
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen
I was three years old, so I actually don’t remember much of the refugee process.
Milana Vayntrub
I will not support any peace deal that will allow the return of even one Palestinian refugee to Israel.
Avigdor Lieberman
Yes, I got my first Bolex camera a few weeks after being dropped in New York by the United Nations Refugee Organization. That was on October 29th, 1949. With my brother Adolfas, we wanted to make a film about displaced persons, how one feels being uprooted from one’s home.
Jonas Mekas
I would be happy if not a single refugee foot ever again touched American soil.
Stephen Miller
As a former refugee myself, I am very grateful for the help my family received and the opportunities this opened up for me and where it has brought me.
Alphonso Davies
Between the summer of 2015 and spring 2016, Austria became one of the European countries most affected by the migration and refugee crisis.
Sebastian Kurz
You know, those of us who leave our homes in the morning and expect to find them there when we go back – it’s hard for us to understand what the experience of a refugee might be like.
Naomi Shihab Nye
You see in Islam, you see in Christianity, you see in Africa, in different religions, in Buddhism and Hinduism, there is a strong commitment to refugee protection.
Antonio Guterres
I’ve never been in a place where I’ve walked in the street and actually feel home, where I don’t feel like a refugee.
Luol Deng