Refugee Voices

In the summer of 2006 the YourStory program began to record the life stories of refugees now living in Utah. The project goal was to document the rich diversity of life experiences present in refugee communities throughout the state. The International Rescue Committee’s Salt Lake City office, as well as the State of Utah’s Department of Workforce Services, and the Utah Arts Council’s Folk Arts Program have been important collaborators. Catholic Community Services and the Asian Association of Utah have become involved more recently in recommending potential refugees who would like to share their life stories.

Lydia Sequeria

"I always tell Americans around me: I promise no matter how old I am, I…

Robert Simbe

"I wanted to get out of the misery that was there, but at the same…

Tom Huynh

"I was only 19; I had not done much in this life. I thought about…

Dawit Woldeyes

"My son, I want to teach him about my religion, about my culture, about the…

Galina Bakina

"I remember we fled from Fascists when the war broke out…I exactly remember though I…

Yayah Kamara

"I was glad but not that much, because of my friends, because they did not…

Kamal Bewar

"Freedom…is a glorious thing and when that’s taken away you are not a human being…

Abdi Sheikh

"It was a hard time, we missing the country, we missing our people, we missing…

Salah Awad

"We left Kismayo in January 1992, as the rebels were surrounding the city. The only…

Kumba Bhonopha

"I feel sorry for the people, because it come to a time there was no…

Aveen Mohammed Bewar

"In the morning my dad came and said we are moving tonight; we are leaving.…