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Published on December 18th, 2015 | by Inés Briard | Credit: Romina Savuleac

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Migrants Day! 18th December. 5 short stories that will change your perception about migrants

Migrants Day! 5 short stories that will change your perception about migrants

No matter which country you decide to move to, no matter the reason, you are considered as a migrant. How long will you need to start to feel as a local? This consideration is made by people coming to Europe.  They are immigrants but they become part of European society and add a valuable contribution to its development.

On the International Day for Migrants, UNITEE avails of this unique opportunity to celebrate migrants and to have an attempt to change general perception about immigrants. Through these short stories, you will realize that behind the etiquette of “migrants”, these “New Europeans” are like every European.

Indeed, there are:


Entrepreneurs

Immigrants are also innovators. When they arrive to a new place, they easily understand the challenges of the society they enter and how to overcome them with excellent solutions. Even in the most difficult situations, without money neither administrative assistance, immigrants come up with amazing ideas to spread peace, earn money or have a sustainable life. Immigrants might also be the next Steve Jobs, indeed his father was a Syrian immigrant to the US!

In the link below, there are 10 varied examples of people who started a business in refugee camps

10 refugees who will change your perception of entrepreneurship

EU related event: http://www.skillsandmigration.eu/



Families

Immigrants move to protect their family and relatives. Once they are abroad, the first challenge is to feed their children. But, as soon as possible, they want to come back to a stable life with a job for themselves, a proper education for their children and a familiar environment around them. Even in difficult times, immigrants are open to help others and to consider them as part of their family. Certainly, the feeling of being part of a community or a family is the first step for them to start a new life.

You may read two interesting stories about family ties among migrants below:

The refugee who sold pens to feed his daughter now owns 4 businesses

Ces Bruxellois qui accueillent des réfugiés



 Talents

Immigrants have hobbies and talents: Between them they are musicians, singers, dancers and painters. This is an opportunity that MuziekPublique in Belgium did not want to miss. They recorded a CD with refugee artists. These immigrants come from Syria, Tibet, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan… The main objective of this project is to testify of the diversity of migrants coming to European countries but also of the richness of their dual-cultural heritage. There are also many immigrants who form music bands by themselves. Styles vary from classical music with the Syrian Expats Philharmonic Orchestra (SEPO), to rock music with Khebez Dawle band.

Refugees for Refugees

Khebez Dawle



Professionals

Without knowing it, professionals with a migrant background are everywhere and discriminate them because of the actions of a few is not acceptable. However, it is sadly one of the problems that our societies have to fight with. When Europeans get in trouble, there might be a professional with a migrant background coming to rescue him. They treat us as human, they have passion and heart in their work to come up with the best solution.

Here you can see two stories that outline professional migrants in our daily life:

Wounded British veteran shares a powerful message to those who assume he hates MuslimsI

Came By Boat’ Campaign Highlights The Critical Skills Migrants Are Contributing

EU related event: http://bruegel.org/events/the-economic-integration-of-migrants-and-refugees/



Intercultural friends

Immigrants are also simple people who like to chill and to share experiences. They are very excited to learn about European culture and to discover how the society works in Europe. The Middle East Councillor of the European Parliament, Schams El Ghoneimi, organised a party at his place with Syrian refugees. This get-together was a unique opportunity for Syrians to better understand European life-style but the host also learned about Syrian’s traditions. At the end, they were all singing Charles Aznavour or Jacques Brel, they were also dancing Flamenco. As the Schams mentioned, this is the most appropriate way to respond to Paris attacks: we have to continue to party together and not be afraid of the difference, especially with refugees.

“Faire la fête avec les réfugiés syriens, un bras d’honneur à Daesh”

Immigrants’ goals, aspirations and necessities are the same as ours. That is mainly their life experiences that differ from ours. The multitude of cultural values greatly enrich our daily lives. In conclusion, change of mentality and openness to diversity is necessary in the world, as such we should not be afraid of new challenges.

Migrants are us, we are them. It is ‘we’ altogether. Everyone might be a migrant one day!

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