Dina Nayeri had to leave Iran as a refugee at the age of 8 and first stayed in a reception centre in Italy before going on to have a successful international academic and literary career. In April 2017, she wrote a brilliant and insightful artcile for the Guardian called The ungrateful refugee which was read widely.
Dina says that host countries expect refugees to be thankful to them for providing a safe place to live. And that refugees are under pressure to express it. But don’t they really have a right to be given refuge and importantly, be given the option to develop the way they want to without feeling like they need to pay something back? Not surprisingly, this was controversial.
She also talks movingly about what life was like as a child refugee and the impact that time has had. We talk about the need for dignity and why the way that people receive support is more important that what they receive.
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