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Watch a suggested film or host a screening with friends and family members to learn more

In honor of World Refugee Day and Immigrant Heritage Month, we will be sharing ways in which you can get support refugees and immigrants in Pittsburgh as well as learn more about the experience of being a refugee or immigrant in the United States. Here are a few movie recommendations for you:

Human Flow – Documentary by Ai Weiwei about the current global refugee crisis.
First They Killed My Father – Based on the memoir “A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers” by Loung Ung, the film focuses on the Khmer Rouge’s takeover of Cambodia.
The Big Sick – A rom-com which explores the reality of many immigrants and children of immigrants living in the US as they navigate cultural differences and expectations around dating. Based on the true story of how Kumail Nanjiani met his wife Emily Gordan.

Read a book about immigrants from Central and South America and host a book club

Are books more your speed after months of staring at screens? We have some suggestions on books to learn more about the refugee and immigrant experience and think about the ways in which migration impact us all.

The Devil’s Highway by Luis Alberto Urrea – Urrea tells the true story of a group of men crossing the US border through a dangerous desert region in Arizona. He also focuses on the experience of US Border Patrol agents as they attempt to prevent individuals from crossing the border.
Exit West by Mohsin Hamid – A fictional novel which asks the reader to consider migration and refugees through a unique perspective.
What Is the What by Dave Eggers – Eggers tells the story of Valentino Achak Deng, a Sudanese refugee who came to the US through the Lost Boys of Sudan program.
The Refugees by Viet Thahn Nguyen – A collection of short stories which brings together the diversity of the refugee experience and challenges of immigrating to a new country.

Post information about the refugee/immigrant experience

Some facts about refugee resettlment:

A. Refugees typically spent 15-20 years living in a refugee camp before they are resettled to another country (such as the US).
B. Refugees must go through a series of background checks, interviews, and medical appointments before they are eligible for resettlement.
C. The top three countries of origin for refugees in 2021 were: Syria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sudan.
D. Did you know refugees have to pay back the cost of their flights to the United States? The International Organization for Migration (IOM) offers interest free travel loans to refugees to purchase their travel to the US. After they arrive in the US, refugees must pay back the cost of their ticket. This helps to build credit in the US and supports the travel of refugee families in the future.

Sources: https://ec.europa.eu/echo/what-we-do/humanitarian-aid/refugees-and-internally-displaced-persons_en https://www.unhcr.org/en-us/protection/resettlement/60a537f34/resettlement-fact-sheet-april-2021.html https://www.hias.org/hias-united-states