The Plight of the Refugee

June 20th was World Refugee Day. MAIS student and activist, Meron Semedar, wrote and recited a powerful poem that we’re proud to share here. Meron read his poem at an event in Oakland that brought together more than 750 people.

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The plight of a refugee: 

Tormented by war

Tortured by oppression

Enslaved by dictators

Dehumanized by persecution,


Denied to assemble

Not allowed to practice my religion

Could not choose my gender

Suffered for belonging to my ethnicity

Lost my dignity

I became a refugee,


Crossing boarder just to get little safety

Braved shoot to kill policy

Became smugglers property

Abandoned in the Sahara desert

Kept hostage for ransom

Traffickers sold my organ

My body in the Mediterranean

I am an Eritrean

Wars in the middle east

Displaced me from my nest

Crowded in shaky boats

Ended up in European shores

Only to find myself lost in tragedy

I am a Syrian


I could be Iraqi, Afghani, Rohingya,

Cuban or Mexican

Guatemalan, a Salvadorian

Today is my day, June 20,

All I am asking is to seek safety

Working hard to integrate into a new society

Abiding by the rules of my host country,


As I live in relative peace,

I have a duty to be a voice

To become hope for the hopeless

To speak against injustice

To live up to my means

Like anyone else

Because I am a human being!


Watch Meron perform his poem by clicking here.



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