Passing Time

It’s Refugee Week.  Every year a time to consider what drives people to leave everything behind and throw themselves on the mercy of a world that is often indifferent, suspicious and hostile.  Every year a time to consider what our culture has gained from those who’ve sought sanctuary here, and what it’s lost in those who never made it.

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Two very different refugee stories that I came across in the last few days:

Occursus told the story of Pauline, whose family came to Sheffield from Ukraine, and were part of the Jewish community in the slums around Scotland Street.  There’s a multiple loss here – of the original home in Novograd-Volynsk, of the area where the 19th century Jewish emigrants settled, and the family home on Allen Street, but also of the connections to that past, and those lost places.  Pauline was discouraged from exploring her family history…

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