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Ukraine warfare has taught us that we’re all refugees now

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On a frigid foggy fall night, Dad was solely 15 when he walked throughout the Hungarian border.  Mother, then 13, would cross later.  Hungarian refugees, they have been fleeing the blitz of Russian tanks crushing freedom-loving folks throughout the Hungarian Revolution in 1956.  

Gone now, my dad and mom have been heavy on my thoughts as I labored with Ukrainian refugees in Hungary final month – primarily girls and kids dwelling a parallel nightmare as Russian army ravage their homeland.  

Greater than 11 million have now fled Ukraine together with virtually 6 million into neighboring nations, together with over 600,000 into Hungary.  On observe for being the biggest refugee disaster in trendy historical past, extra Ukrainians may have left their nation than those that fled the Syrian Civil Conflict and the Soviet Afghan Conflict.


A son of refugees, I wanted to really feel the real-life expertise of the Japanese European migrant. “I wish to sit subsequent to a stranger and find out about his life,” Thomas Csorba (my very own son) wrote it in a folks track — as a result of once we find out about one other soul, we absolutely get a glimpse into ours. 

What did my mom and father could really feel as youngsters working from tyranny and in the direction of freedom?

People who fled the war in Ukraine rest inside an indoor sports stadium being used as a refugee center, in the village of Medyka, a border crossing between Poland and Ukraine, on March 15.

Individuals who fled the warfare in Ukraine relaxation inside an indoor sports activities stadium getting used as a refugee middle, within the village of Medyka, a border crossing between Poland and Ukraine, on March 15. (AP/Petros Giannakouris)

These Ukrainian refugees are like a lovely household puzzle — weary from their complicated journey; but so vigorous and persistence.  

I needed to see how all of the items match and what the image reveals.  Regardless of the horrific tales of rape and homicide, I noticed resiliency and even a pointy humorousness, although sardonic — maybe impressed by their comedian-turned president now standing in because the de facto chief of the free world. 


One household ready a Ukrainian Easter dinner for us of their tiny provisional condominium in Budapest.  They made us really feel welcome and at residence; maybe so they may additionally return residence, even for a couple of hours.  

Refugees walk after fleeing the war from neighboring Ukraine at the border crossing in Medyka, southeastern Poland, on April 8, 2022.

Refugees stroll after fleeing the warfare from neighboring Ukraine on the border crossing in Medyka, southeastern Poland, on April 8, 2022. (AP/Sergei Grits)

Their son, who suffers from cerebral palsy, laughed mockingly as he pointed to a bombed-out restaurant on his iPhone – a favourite household spot within the Black Sea city of Odessa. The shelling as a part of the so-called Russian “Particular Navy Operation” wasn’t misplaced on the younger man – his anguish masked within the irony of the barbaric act.  

All of us got here from someplace, and all of us have a narrative of wrestle and a few alienation.  

Most Ukrainian refugees we spoke with stay comparatively near Ukraine hoping to quickly return.  

On the day we crossed the border into Ukraine to ship medical provides to Lviv, the road going again in was longer than the one popping out.  

Many would moderately return residence underneath the specter of fixed shelling than reside of their present uncertainty. Such is the soul of the Ukrainian refugee. 


However one other hazard waits for the brand new refugees, specifically males stalking younger girls on the border.  They provide them what seems like a pleasant experience, however then pressure them into the underworld of human trafficking.  Risking all the things to flee warfare after which lastly crossing the border – a second of hopefulness — after which falling into the evil of exploitation is an excessive amount of to fathom.  

God-fearing, these Ukrainians are absolutely leaning on the promise of the psalmist, “the Lord watches over strangers; He helps the fatherless and the widow, and He thwarts the way in which of the depraved.” 

Robust-minded and trustworthy, they’ve their fears – one in all which is that we’ll develop weary and grow to be faint, and the humanitarianism will wane.  However how can we neglect Bucha? Irpin? And Kharkiv and Mariupol? 


In addition they worry that resentment will fester as the prices of caring for them grow to be an excessive amount of – housing, schooling, drugs and jobs.  Grateful for our benevolence, they fear about our stamina.  Some appealed to the golden rule within the Gospel, specifically, “in all the things, do to others what you’ll have them do to you.” 

In fact, they’re proper. There may be our frequent humanity, our personal compassion to undergo with each other.  All of us got here from someplace, and all of us have a narrative of wrestle and a few alienation.  

When one in all us turns into the final, the least, and the misplaced, we grow to be a refuge to them as if we’re serving ourselves. Certainly not the identical Ukrainian hell, however once we see our tales as refugees alike, how can we cease caring for the tens of millions of Ukrainians with no residence and a rustic? 

All of us need a secure place to reside. All of us starvation for freedom and human dignity.  All of us wish to come residence.  


As Dina Niyeri, the Iranian refugee raised in America, requested about our common refugee situation, “Is it not the duty of each particular person born in a safer room to open the door when somebody at risk knocks?” 

My mom and father have been gone for years, however now they’re even tremendously remembered and liked.  And so, too, the Ukrainians, whose struggling, and ours with them, makes us all refugees.  

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