What the World Gets Wrong about Refugees

Most of us probably harbor preconceived notions about refugees. Maybe it’s a misunderstanding about what drove them from home. Or maybe it’s a lack of understanding about the lives they led before crises upended them. Or possibly, a failure of imagination about the talents and capacities they bring to their new host countries. How do our misconceptions about refugees keep us from fixing our broken refugee system and integrating refugees more fully into our communities? Could it be that one of the worst humanitarian challenges of our time is also replete with opportunities, if only we could see them? Qutaiba Idibl, a Syrian activist forced to flee Damascus after enduring torture at the hands of the Assad regime, is building a new life in the United States. Alexander Betts directs the Refugee Studies Centre at Oxford University. Together, they explore what’s missing in the conversation about refugees around the world.

Festival: Aspen Ideas 2017

Share this page

Audio/Video: Middle East

Benjamin J. Rhodes, the deputy national security advisor to President Obama, was the chief US negotiator in the secret... See more
The Arab Spring began three and a half years ago. Where will the revolutionary cycle be in a decade? Will Egypt be a... See more
Thomas Friedman in conversation with Salam Fayyad, Former Prime Minister, Palestinian National Authority. See more
Will Syria resolve itself?  Might Egypt erupt yet again into bloody conflict?  Might 2024 see  a peaceful resolution to... See more
After 40 years of largely cooperative Sino-US relations, policymakers, politicians, and pundits on both sides of the... See more
The South and East China Seas? Persian Gulf? North Korea? See more

Pages