Generation Outside

This is someone I consider a friend now, despite knowing him a short time. I have been posting about the recent arrivals lately, but in fact much of my work is done with such people, who have been here for 10 years or more, and still face problems. And yet, many, including this person, are dedicated to helping the new arrivals. The very end strikes me. If someone left their country, and came, alone, as a minor, a child really, to a new country, what does this do to one’s sense of identity? I will never consider myself Greek, he says.This is not because of anything against the Greek people, but because, through his experiences, he has come to believe he has no “right” to be Greek. Hearing this hurts me, perhaps because as an American, and one who is hopeful despite what is happening in my country, I believe anyone can still become an American…..if they are lucky enough. And I believe they have the right to claim American as a key part of their identity. The Greek spoken is fluent. The early years have been shaped by life in Greece, but also by the experiences of the refugee.

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