Not Welcome

Equipped for Mercy

He was 27, single, Iraqi, and most likely Muslim. By all accounts, he was the quintessential description of the type of refugee many Americans argue should be denied access to our country. I wonder if he knows this.

He arrived to the U.S. only 3 months ago, yet his English was efficient enough that I would have guessed it’d been a year. We were at a festival for refugees. I was there to help hand out prizes, he was there to socialize. The event started in chaos. There were games for children to play where they could earn tickets for prizes, but all their eyes beheld was an array of toys to be taken. Inept to explain the process, we quickly realized we needed someone to communicate the rules. “Kasim” immediately jumped in to help. He was only asked to translate 1-2 sentences, but he stayed at the booth for…

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