Ira Glass: "Monday of this week, she rode a bus as the next of those many steps that she has to do to become an American. She's from Afghanistan, but she lives in Detroit now. There are currently a record number of people-- 60 million, according to the United Nations-- displaced by violence and persecution, and needed to start all over elsewhere, change their lives, transform themselves. M is one of them. She's right now living in a temporary home for asylum seekers called Freedom House. And at Freedom House, they've taught her how to put together an American-style resume, how to go to the doctor in America. Today's lesson is how to get around the city independently...Readers of this blog are sufficiently sophisticated and well-read that they will not reflexly equate "immigrant" with "fruit-picker" or "roofer," or assume that a refugee must be ignorant and unskilled. But many Americans do exactly that.
M-- maybe you can tell-- is this super-capable person who seems to have no problem in any situation I see her in finding out what she needs to know and making things happen. In other words, figuring out how to ride a bus is child's play to her. She's a college grad with a bachelor's in business administration. Back home in Kabul, did project management for an international organization, humanitarian projects.
M: "I was responsible, for example, to make need assessments, and then to check every stage of that project with the implementing partner."
Ira Glass: "It's not unusual, of course, for this immigrant who's used to a job in her own country managing things and doing PowerPoint presentations and looking at Excel spreadsheets is hoping here in America that she'll get work as a seamstress, if she's lucky. She got her papers to work legally a month ago. And looking for work so far has landed nothing."
19 May 2016
Thoughts re refugees
A poignant excerpt from the transcript of "Streetwise" - the second act in episode 572 ("Transformers") at This American Life: