Top Refugee Quotes

Browse top 94 famous quotes and sayings about Refugee by most favorite authors.

Favorite Refugee Quotes

1. "Try to praise the mutilated world.Remember June's long days,and wild strawberries, drops of wine, the dew.The nettles that methodically overgrowthe abandoned homesteads of exiles.You must praise the mutilated world.You watched the stylish yachts and ships;one of them had a long trip ahead of it,while salty oblivion awaited others.You've seen the refugees heading nowhere,You've heard the executioners sing joyfully.You should praise the mutilated world.Remember the moments when we were togetherin a white room and the curtain fluttered.Return in thought to the concert where music flared.You gathered acorns in the park in autumnand leaves eddied over the earth's scars.Praise the mutilated worldand the gray feathers a thrush lost,and the gentle light that strays and vanishesand returns."
Author: Adam Zagajewski
2. "His action of joining them, which would have been rude in a restaurant that was not moving at three hundred kilometers an hour, was perfectly acceptable on a train, which mimicked the entirely random joinings of life but revealed their true nature by making them last only hours or days, rather than years and decades. People on a train form an alliance, as if the world that surrounded the parallel rails were hostile and and they refugees from it. The dining car, humming and rocking gently in the night, annihilated past and future and made all associations outside of itself seem vaguely unreal. So they welcomed him at their table, for he was one of them, a traveler, not one of those wraiths through whose night-lit cities they passed."
Author: Alexander Jablokov
3. "I think of Superman as the ultimate vanilla hero. He's this perfect refugee, this perfect immigrant from another planet who embodies the American dream."
Author: Antje Traue
4. "Marisa starts to snoop. I might as well too. It's not often that I get to visit a water pellet company in a freaky refugee nation. -from Fireseed One"
Author: Catherine Stine
5. "The enduring attraction of war is this: Even with its destruction and carnage it can give us what we long for in life. It can give us purpose, meaning, a reason for living. Only when we are in the midst of conflict does the shallowness and vapidness of much of our lives become apparent. Trivia dominates our conversations and increasingly our airwaves. And war is an enticing elixir. It gives us resolve, a cause. It allows us to be noble. And those who have the least meaning in their lives, the impoverished refugees in Gaza, the disenfranchised North African immigrants in France, even the legions of young who live in the splendid indolence and safety of the industrialized world, are all susceptible to war's appeal."
Author: Chris Hedges
6. "Why are some countries able, despite their very real and serious problems, to press ahead along the road to reconciliation, recovery, and redevelopment while others cannot? These are critical questions for Africa, and their answers are complex and not always clear. Leadership is crucial, of course. Kagame was a strong leader–decisive, focused, disciplined, and honest–and he remains so today. I believe that sometimes people's characters are molded by their environment. Angola, like Liberia, like Sierra Leone, is resource-rich, a natural blessing that sometimes has the sad effect of diminishing the human drive for self-sufficiency, the ability and determination to maximize that which one has. Kagame had nothing. He grew up in a refugee camp, equipped with only his own strength of will and determination to create a better life for himself and his countrymen."
Author: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
7. "When I was in Paris, all of the German refugees began to flow in and it was a very sad time."
Author: Elliott Carter
8. "It was like wanting ice cream instead of meat loaf, and being told that children in refugee camps would be grateful for the meat loaf. Yes, of course she had nothing to complain about, compared to so many people, but when had that ever stopped anyone from complaining? Happiness was a balloon that always hovered just out of arm's reach."
Author: Emma Donoghue
9. "My father left Nazi Germany a year after Dr. Kissinger, and so in my household he was very much an icon. He was a kind of immigrant success story, a refugee success story."
Author: Eugene Jarecki
10. "It was a heavenly summer, the summer in which France fell and the British Expeditionary Force was evacuated from Dunkirk. Leaves were never such an intense and iridescent green; sunlight glinted on flower-studded meadows as the Germans encircled the Maginot Line and overran not only France but Belgium and Holland. Birdsong filled the air in the lull between bursts of gunfire and accompanied the fleeing refugees who blocked the roads. It was as though the weather was preparing a glorious requiem for the death of Europe."
Author: Eva Ibbotson
11. "The legal reporter came out of his cubicle shouting that two bodies of unidentified girls were in the city morgue. Frightened, I asked him: What age? Young, he said. They may be refugees from the interior chased here by the regime's thugs. I sighed with relief. The situation encroaches on us in silence, like a bloodstain, I said. The legal reporter, at some distance now, shouted: "Not blood, Maestro,shit."
Author: Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez
12. "IN my early days there were stories about funny refugees murdering the English language. A refugee woman goes to the greengrocer to buy red oranges (I mean red inside), very popular on the Continent and called blood oranges.‘I want two pounds of bloody oranges.'‘What sort of oranges, dear?' asked the greengrocer, a little puzzled.‘Bloody oranges.'‘Hm...' He thinks. ‘I see. For juice?'‘Yes, we are.'Another story dates from two years later. By that time the paterfamilias — the orange-buying lady's husband — has become terribly, terribly English. He meets an old friend in Regents Park, and instead of talking to him in good German, softly, he greets him in English, loudly.‘Hallo, Weinstock.... Lovely day, isn't it? Spring in the air.'‘Why should I?"
Author: George Mikes
13. "Until we consider animal life to be worthy of the consideration and reverence we bestow upon old books and pictures and historic monuments, there will always be the animal refugee living a precarious life on the edge of extermination, dependent for existence on the charity of a few human beings."
Author: Gerald Durrell
14. "Right now in this world, a child is dying from an ailment because its family cannot afford to buy charcoal for boiling water.Right now in this world, a girl is striving to find firewood from trees that no more exist, and water from sources that are poisonous.Right now in this world, a boy is out fishing in a lake rich with inedible species.Right now in this world, a mother is drowning in heavy rainfall, to save her belongings.Right now in this world, a man has lost his dignity because all his eff orts to save have been wiped away to poverty by unforeseen calamities.Right now in this world, a family is starving because drought has invaded their once fertile land.Right now in this world, a nation is planning for refugee status due to adverse climate conditions.Right now in this world, you have a choice to help alleviate environmental problems caused by humankind."
Author: Gloria D. Gonsalves
15. "Just as the Torah and Bible teach concern for those in distress, the Koran instructs all Muslims to make caring for widows, orphans, and refugees a priority."
Author: Greg Mortenson
16. "Since the peace treatiesof 1919 and 1920, the refugees andthe stateless have attached themselveslike a curse to all the newlyestablished states on earth whichwere created in the image of thenation-state."
Author: Hannah Arendt
17. "And if he did not always like what he had to do...he never forgot what the alternative would have been. Not only in Argentina, leading the unhappy existence of a refugee, but also in the courtroom in Jerusalem, with his life as good as forfeited, he might have still preferred—if anybody had asked him—to be hanged as Obersturmbannführer a.D. (in retirement) rather than living out his life quietly and normally as a traveling salesman for the Vacuum Oil Company."
Author: Hannah Arendt
18. "There weren't any curtains in the windows, and the books that didn't fit into the bookshelf lay piled on the floor like a bunch of intellectual refugees."
Author: Haruki Murakami
19. "So fare thee well, poor devil of a Sub-Sub, whose commentator I am. Thou belongest to that hopeless, sallow tribe which no wine of this world will ever warm; and for whom even Pale Sherry would be too rosy-strong; but with whom one sometimes loves to sit, and feel poor-devilish, too; and grow convivial upon tears; and say to them bluntly, with full eyes and empty glasses, and in not altogether unpleasant sadness— Give it up, Sub-Subs! For by how much more pains ye take to please the world, by so much the more shall ye for ever go thankless! Would that I could clear out Hampton Court and the Tuileries for ye! But gulp down your tears and hie aloft to the royal-mast with your hearts; for your friends who have gone before are clearing out the seven-storied heavens, and making refugees of long pampered Gabriel, Michael, and Raphael, against your coming. Here ye strike but splintered hearts together—there, ye shall strike unsplinterable glasses!"
Author: Herman Melville
20. "I'm in total sympathy with Dick Smith's sentiments; I only wish there were grounds for saying we Australians would never tolerate such appalling treatment of refugees being carried out in our name."
Author: Hugh Mackay
21. "I hope that Americans will give careful and well-informed thought to root causes and historical realities, in which case I think they will question why a supposedly 'legitimate' state such as Israel has had to conduct decades of war against a subject refugee population without ever achieving its goals."
Author: Ismail Haniyeh
22. "Today three-quarters of the Palestinian people are displaced: there are 5 million Palestinian refugees throughout the world."
Author: Ismail Haniyeh
23. "Gaza 1948: "Gaza was not a refugee camp yet, just a place designated for Palestinian people when the state of Israel came begin. But day by day it filled up with people who had no place else to go to."
Author: Izzeldin Abuelaish
24. "In 1934, the American Jewish charities offered to find homes for 300 German refugee children. We were on the SS Washington, bound for New York, Christmas 1934."
Author: Jack Steinberger
25. "There is a unique bond between the land and the people in the Crescent City. Everyone here came from somewhere else, the muddy brown current of life prying them loose from their homeland and sweeping them downstream, bumping and scraping, until they got caught by the horseshoe bend that is New Orleans. Not so much as a single pebble ‘came' from New Orleans, any more than any of the people did. Every grain of sand, every rock, every drip of brown mud, and every single person walking, living and loving in the city is a refugee from somewhere else. But they made something unique, the people and the land, when they came together in that cohesive, magnetic, magical spot; this sediment of society made something that is not French, not Spanish, and incontrovertibly not American."
Author: James Caskey
26. "The moon rode in the sky - a hunted thing dodging behind wisps of tattered cloud, and the air was heavy and wet and redolent of dying leaves. ("The Refugee")"
Author: Jane Dixon Rice
27. "PDR: Persons of Dubious Reality; refugees from the collective consciousness. Uninvited visitors who have fallen through the grating that divides the real, from the written. They arrive with their actions hardwired due to their repetitious existence and the older and more basic they are, the more rigidly they stick to them. Characters from cautionary tales are particularly mindless; they do what they do because it's what they've always done.And it's our job to stop them."
Author: Jasper Fforde
28. "This private estate was far enough away from the explosion so that its bamboos, pines, laurel, and maples were still alive, and the green place invited refugees—partly because they believed that if the Americans came back, they would bomb only buildings; partly because the foliage seemed a center of coolness and life, and the estate's exquisitely precise rock gardens, with their quiet pools and arching bridges, were very Japanese, normal, secure; and also partly (according to some who were there) because of an irresistible, atavistic urge to hide under leaves."
Author: John Hersey
29. "Our power knows no limits, yet we cannot find food for a starving child, or a home for a refugee. Our knowledge is without measure and we build the weapons that will destroy us. We live on the edge of ourselves, terrified of the darkness within. We have harmed, corrupted and ruined, we have made mistakes and deceived."
Author: John Le Carré
30. "I assume you're a refugee from the dance inside." "I escaped the enemy, captain," I said. I could see the side of his, and his smile. "Ah," he said. "At long last, a promotion."
Author: Judy Blundell
31. "They were on the edge of a desert now. Still—they had opened for business, had polished the glasses and wound the clocks and stirred the fires, and waited and waited to see who would come. There was no great flow of refugees from Dresden. The clocks ticked on, the fires crackled, the translucent candles dripped. And then there was a knock on the door, and in came four guards and one hundred American prisoners of war. The innkeeper asked the guards if they had come from the city. "Yes."
Author: Kurt Vonnegut
32. "That was not part of the U.N. resolution; it was not part of the mandate to go on to Baghdad and, frankly, if we had gone into Baghdad and pushed Saddam Hussein off, we would have inherited an even bigger mess than the mess we inherited with the refugee problem."
Author: Les Aspin
33. "Marial and Uncle were no longer by his side, and they never would be again, but Salva knew that both of them would have wanted him to survive, to finish the trip and reach the Itang refugee camp safely. It was almost as if they had left their strength with him, to help him on his journey."
Author: Linda Sue Park
34. "Every time we walk along a beach some ancient urge disturbs us so that we find ourselves shedding shoes and garments or scavenging among seaweed and whitened timbers like the homesick refugees of a long war."
Author: Loren Eiseley
35. "We thought of [New York] as a free city, like one of those storied prewar tropical nests of intrigue and licentiousness where exiles and lamsters and refugees found shelter in a tangle of improbable juxtapositions."
Author: Luc Sante
36. "The time has come to end the suffering and the plight of millions of Palestine refugees in the homeland and the Diaspora, to end their displacement and to realize their rights, some of them forced to take refuge more than once in different places of the world."
Author: Mahmoud Abbas
37. "She believed in public service; she felt she had to roll up her sleeves and do something useful for the war effort. She organized a Comfort Circle, which collected money through rummage sales. This was spent on small boxes containing tobacco and candies, which were sent off to the trenches. She threw open Avilion for these functions, which (said Reenie) was hard on the floors. In addition to the rummage sales, every Tuesday afternoon her group knitted for the troops, in the drawing room -- washcloths for the beginners, scarves for the intermediates, balaclavas and gloves for the experts. Soon another battalion of recruits was added, on Thursdays -- older, less literate women from south of the Jogues who could knit in their sleep. These made baby garments for the Armenians, said to be starving, and for something called Overseas Refugees. After two hours of knitting, a frugal tea was served in the dining room, with Tristan and Iseult looking wanly down."
Author: Margaret Atwood
38. "When Europeans arrived on this continent, they blew it with the Native Americans. They plowed over them, taking as much as they could of their land and valuables, and respecting almost nothing about the native cultures. They lost the wisdom of the indigenous peoples-wisdom about the land and connectedness to the great web of life…We have another chance with all these refugees. People come here penniless but not cultureless. They bring us gifts. We can synthesize the best of our traditions with the best of theirs. We can teach and learn from each other to produce a better America…"
Author: Mary Pipher
39. "When people make wars, they make refugees."
Author: Michael Morpurgo
40. "So, a penniless Obama traveled to a country under martial law, where the U.S. State Department had issued a travel advisory. Obama then ignored the millions of Afghan refugees in Pakistan, checked into the Hilton International, showered, shaved, and changed into a fresh set of thrift-store clothing to go bird hunting with the country's future prime minister."
Author: Mondo Frazier
41. "Everyone over 50 in America feels like a refugee. In the Old America there were a lot of bad parents. There always are, because parenting is hard. Inadequate parents could say, 'Go outside and play in the culture,' and the culture -- relatively innocent, and boring -- could be more or less trusted to bring the kids up. Grown ups now know that you can't send the kids out to play in the culture, because the culture will leave them distorted and disturbed."
Author: Peggy Noonan
42. "The hardship of living in a refugee camp made me psychologically strong."
Author: Philip Emeagwali
43. "Hey, Ivashkov! Open up. " Avery argued. She kept pounding on the door and yelling, and finally, Adrian answered. His hair stuck up at odd angles, and he had dark circles under his eyes. He'd drunk twice as much as Lissa last night. "What . . . ?" He blinked. "Shouldn't you guys be in class? Oh God. I didn't sleep that much, did I? " "Let us in, " said Avery, pushing past. "We've got refugees from a fire here. " She flounced onto his couch, making herself at home while he continued staring. Lissa and Christian joined her. "Avery sprang the fire alarm, " explained Lissa. "Nice work, " said Adrian, collapsing into a fluffy chair. "But why'd you have to come here? Is this the only place that's not burning down? " Avery batted her eyelashes at him. "Aren't you happy to see us? " He eyed her speculatively for a moment. "Always happy to see you."
Author: Richelle Mead
44. "In Palestine, the Israelis claim they found a land without people,' a Syrian officer explained to us. 'Now they will take southern Lebanon and claim they have found another land without people if these refugees do not return."
Author: Robert Fisk
45. "Nick was dressed in jeans, a dark green sweater, and bomber jacket–the perfect image of a rich college student. Talon looked like a biker who had just left Sanctuary, New Orleans's premier biker bar. Acheron looked like a refugee from the Dungeon–the local underground goth hangout. Valerius was the professional contingent, and Zarek…Zarek just looked like he was ready to kill something.' (Talon)"
Author: Sherrilyn Kenyon
46. "Because I became a refugee in Macau during 1941, we had this war in Hong Kong, I fought for the government as an air raid warden for 15 days. Our government surrendered, Hong Kong Government surrendered, so I took a junk and came to Macau in 16 hours and I was a refugee, so that's why I was so much indebted to Macau."
Author: Stanley Ho
47. "Toughness found fertile soil in the hearts of Palestinians, and the grains of resistance embedded themselves in their skin. Endurance evolved as a hallmark of refugee society. But the price they paid was the subduing of tender vulnerability. They learned to celebrate martyrdom. Only martyrdom offered freedom. Only in death were they at last invulnerable to Israel. Martyrdom became the ultimate defiance of Israeli occupation."
Author: Susan Abulhawa
48. "Helen's Saigon had always been about selling - chickens, information, or lovely young women, it didn't matter. It had once been called the Pearl of the Orient, but by people who had not been there in a very long time. Saigon had never been Paris, but now it was a garrison town, unlovely, a stinking refugee shantyville filled with the angry, the betrayed, the dispossessed, but she had made it her home, and she couldn't bear that soon she would have to leave."
Author: Tatjana Soli
49. "Your daughter is ugly.She knows loss intimately,carries whole cities in her belly.As a child, relatives wouldn't hold her.She was splintered wood and sea water.They said she reminded them of the war.On her fifteenth birthday you taught herhow to tie her hair like rope and smoke it over burning frankincense.You made her gargle rosewaterand while she coughed, saidmacaanto girls like you shouldn't smellof lonely or empty.You are her mother.Why did you not warn her,hold her like a rotting boatand tell her that men will not love herif she is covered in continents,if her teeth are small colonies,if her stomach is an islandif her thighs are borders?What man wants to lay down and watch the world burn in his bedroom? Your daughter's face is a small riot,her hands are a civil war,a refugee camp behind each ear,a body littered with ugly thingsbut God, doesn't she wearthe world well."
Author: Warsan Shire
50. "It is not for you to say - you Englishmen, who have conquered your freedom so long ago, that you have conveniently forgotten what blood you shed, and what extremities you proceeded to in the conquering - it is not for you to say how far the worst of all exasperations may, or may not, carry the maddened men of an enslaved nation. The iron that has entered into our souls has gone too deep for you to find it. Leave the refugee alone! Laugh at him, distrust him, open your eyes in wonder at the secret self which smolders in him, sometimes under the every-day respectability and tranquility of a man like me - sometimes under the grinding poverty, the fierce squalor, of men less lucky, less pliable, less patient than I am - but judge us not. In the time of your first Charles you might have done us justice - the long luxury of your freedom has made you incapable of doing us justice now."
Author: Wilkie Collins

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Israel of the coastal plain, where eight out of ten Israeli Jews live far removed from the occupied territories, from the fiery Jerusalem, from the religious and nationalistic conflicts, is unknown to the outside world, almost unknown to itself."
Author: Amos Oz

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