Responsibility

In the last few days, I have been emailing a friend of a friend. He and his wife are Iraqis coming to the US as refugees.  It weighs heavy on my heart, not least because I feel every American bears her or his small portion of responsibility for the invasion of Iraq and its consequences. It’s a tragedy whenever anyone is forced to leave their home, the people they dearly love, and the entire world as they have known it just to be safe, to continue living. Refugee resettlement in the United States and in many other countries is rough business, but necessary. I just wish there was more room in the landscape of resettlement for individual stories, individual fears, individual rituals of mourning — because exile is a profound and always deeply personal loss, one that shapes even the most successful refugees.

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