At 3 Generations we have long noted that many of the issues we cover involve refugees, whether we are looking at the Holocaust, sex trafficking or environmental degradation. Indeed, one of our core tenets is that most human rights issues are inter-connected. But how often do we turn to refugees to understand domestic politics? We would argue not enough.
The events at the US Capitol in January were traumatic for many of us. But what about our refugee population who had escaped tyranny themselves? And what wisdom do they have to share?
"I know how it feels not to have democracy,” explained our friend Imran Mohammed in a recent interview. He is a Rohingya refugee who fled his native Myanmar when he was 16 and settled in the US a few years ago. He instantly loved America and felt safe here until recently:
"We Rohingya have been persecuted for decades in our own country because law doesn't matter, order doesn't matter and fact doesn't matter. I didn't think I would experience something similar here," he said.
The insurrection on January 6th was the first time he felt unsafe in this country. And prompted some significant insight:
"It is extremely frightening to see how divided the country is…(Americans) are very lucky to be born in this country, to have democracy and to have safety. You know, maybe they don't understand what it means to have democracy.”
The new Administration looks set to improve the situation for refugees both here and abroad. The so-called “Muslim Ban” has already been reversed, which is promising for many of the refugees we have filmed over the last 10 years or so as most are from Muslim-majority countries like Syria and Iraq. But prospects for the refugee population of Myanmar are not good as marital law has once again been imposed. We will be updating you with news about Imran’s family and compatriots in Myanmar.
In the meantime, all of us at 3 Generations renew our commitment to listen to refugees and heed their lived experience and wisdom. We thank each and every one who has shared their story and especially salute Imran whose grasp of universal truth is peerless.