I love visiting museums, it's my absolute favorite pastime. I love wandering through the halls, reading all about artwork and exhibits. And spending my day learning something new. When I heard my FAVORITE museum the Newseum was holding the Refugee in Photos exhibit I knew I must go. And so after class one afternoon, I made my way down and experienced one of the most best afternoons to date.
Hanging on the walls are photographs and the stories of refugees from all over the world who left their homes and risked their lives because their home provided no tomorrow for their families. Refugees don’t become refugees out of choice, it’s because they have no other option. I found the exhibit not only eye opening but extremely emotional. Refugees experience hardships and tragedies in their lives so difficult that it's impossible to imagine them for myself. And putting faces to their stories just makes even more real.
I know politics is a touchy subject and not everyone is keen on the idea of letting refugees into the United States. But, I don't think closing our doors is the right thing to do. During WWII a ship containing Jewish refugees came to the United States, we said no and sent the ship back to Europe. Those passengers went to a concentration camp and eventually were killed. I don't want that to happen again. I don't want history to repeat itself. I want us as a country to learn from history and to learn from our mistakes.
These photographs are of refugees from all parts of the world. They speak different languages and practice different faiths. Refugees don't become refugees out of choice but because their home isn't home anymore. Over the past year the lack of compassion for the Syrian Refugee Crisis has shocked me. I hope with exhibits such as this one, the new year will bring a more giving and compassionate attitude for all despite differences in faith, culture and, language.
If you'e in the DC area or coming here soon, I highly encourage everyone to visit.