By Hannah Tong

Throughout history, refugees all around the world have traveled and sought asylum from other countries to escape the horrors of their life at home.

From 1915 to 1923, more than one million Armenians left Turkish Asian Mino due to a series of events now known as the Armenian Genocide.  The Ottoman Empire persecuted the minority of Armenians in present-day Turkey, forcing women, men and children to in death marches. About 1 to 1.5 million people were killed during this event due to religious differences between Islam and Christianity.

During World War II, almost 300 thousand Jews who were persecuted managed to escape the killings and concentration camps in Germany during Hitler’s reign of Nazism by fleeing to foreign countries.  Between 1933 and 1939, about 200 thousand Jews fled Nazism in France alone.

A few decades after that war, destruction and communist-controlled systems resulting from the Vietnam War led many people from Cambodia, Laos and especially Vietnam to flee from their homes and into America, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines and Hong Kong during the late 1970s and 1980s.

Just from 2007 to 2011, the United States had 278,850 asylum seekers alone.  In 2014, 19.5 million refugees traveled the world in hope for a better life.

As of today, one of the biggest groups of refugees is coming from Syria.  Since the outbreak of civil war in 2011, over nine million Syrians have taken refuge in neighboring countries, including the Lebanon, Iraq, Turkey and Jordan.

Controlled by a religious organization named ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria), Syria suffers constant war and destruction, constant fear and constant killings.  These refugees left and sought asylum because they were following their friends and families, their homes were destroyed, they were threatened by other officials to leave and the high cost of food and necessities caused them to lose all their money.

It is only ideal that the citizens of these countries find somewhere where they know they can be with their families safely.  It takes courage for a refugee to escape and leave behind what they used to call home.


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