Famous or not, refugees bring much more than their belongings with them to their new countries.
Here’s a list of public figures you might not know wererefugees (or children of refugees).
If you know of someonewho should be included in this list,get in touch.
Do also take a look at Traces Project, a timeline of artistic cultural contributions by people who have found sanctuary in the UK, produced byCounterpoints Arts and UNHCR.
Lord Maurice Saatchi and Charles Saatchi – Founders of Saatchi and Saatchi advertising agency. Their father was an Iraqi Jewish refugee.
Eva Jircicna– Designed the Faith Zone in the Millennium Dome. Refugee from Czechoslovakia.
Daniel Marot– Architect, furniture designer and engraver who designed Hampton Court Palace. Huguenot refugee.
Peter Moro –Born in Germany and moved to London, becoming one of the UK’s most prominent post-war architects. Designed the Royal Festival Hall and the Nottingham Playhouse.
Richard Rogers – Designer of the Centre Pompidou and the Millennium Dome. His mother was a refugee from Trieste.
Frank Auerbach–German-born British painter, considered one of the world’s greatest living artists.
Marc Chagall– Russian-French artist of Belarusian Jewish origin.
Jacob Epstein– British sculptor who helped pioneer modern sculpture.Son of Polish-Jewish refugees.
Peter Carl Fabergé– Russian jeweller, fled Russia via Finland, Germany to Switzerland.
Lucien Freud– Well-known British painter, German-Jewish refugee.
Mona Hatoum– Well-known British painter, Palestinian-Lebanese refugee.
Anish Kapoor – Won the 1991 Turner Prize. His parents were refugees who fled Iraq.
Camille Pissarro – Impressionist and Neo-Impressionist painter, Danish-French-Jewish refugee.
Sir John Tenniel – Cartoonist and book illustrator, descended from Huguenot refugees.
Alfred Wolmark – Painter, Polish-Jewish refugee.
Sir Montague Burton– Founded Burton retail, refugee from Lithuania.
Sir John Houblon– First Governor of the Bank of England, grandson of refugees.
Manubhai Madhvani– Expelled from Uganda by Idi Amin.
Michael Marks – One of the founders of Marks and Spencer, Russian refugee.
Sieng van Trang – Founder of the educational website www.iLearn.to,Vietnamese refugee.
George Weidenfeld– Publisher,Jewish refugee who fled the Nazis.
Fashion and Design
Sir Alec Issigonis– Designer of the Mini car, refugee.
Tanya Sarne – Fashion designer and creator of the Ghost label, father was a Russian refugee.
Lewis de Teissier – Founder of Tessier’s jewellers, and the grandson of refugee Jaqcues de Teissier.
Alek Wek– Supermodel, fled Sudan with her family.
Lakshmibhai Pathak – Founder of Patak’s, was a Kenyan refugee.
Rashmi Thakrar – Founder of Tilda Rice, Ugandan refugee.
Music and Dance
Bob Marley– Famous musician, fled Jamaica to Miami after being shot during political violence.
Fritzi Massary– Austrian-Jewish operetta singer,refugee.
Norbert Brainin– Austrian-Jewish violinist, refugee.
Gloria Estefan– Cuban-American singer, songwriter, actress, and businesswoman,father was a Cuban refugee.
Justine Frischmann– Lead singer of Elastica, father was a Hungarian refugee.
Wyclef Jean– Musician, former member of Fugees, Haitian refugee
K’Naan– Hip-hop artist, refugee from Somalia now living in Toronto, Canada.
M.I.A.– English-born singer/ hip-hop artist, part of a Tamil Sri Lankan refugee family.
Mika-Famous singer, fled from Lebanon.
Freddie Mercury – Lead singer of the band Queen, fled to England from Zanzibar in 1964.
Olivia Newton-John– Singer and actress, granddaughter of refugee Max Born.
Rita Ora– Singer, came to the UK as a refugee from Kosovo as baby.
Regina Spektor– Singer, songwriter and pianist. Originally fled Soviet Russia at the age of nine, now based in New York.
Shingai Shoniwa– Lead singer of the Noisettes. British-born daughter of Zimbabwean refugees.
Claude-Michel Schonberg– Composer whose works include Les Misérables and Miss Saigon, son of refugees.
Arnold Schoenberg– Austrian Composer, one of the most important composers in history, fled Europe due to increasing Nazi terror.
Gene Simmons– Member of Kiss, mother was a Holocaust survivor.
Sir Georg Solti – Conductor, refugee.
Robert Stolz– Austrian composer/conductor, refugee.
Oscar Straus – Austrian-Jewish composer, refugee.
Richard Tauber – Austrian-Jewish singer, composer and refugee.
Georg Ritter von Trapp – Father of the Trapp family, whose story inspired The Sound of Music after fleeing Nazi occupied Austria.
Madeleine Albright– Former U. S. Secretary of State, refugee From Prague.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali– Dutch politician, fled from Somalia.
Sitting Bull– Sioux chief, left America for Canada.
Lord Alf Dubs– Politician, refugee from Prague.
Margaret Hodge– Former British MP and Minister for Children,parents were refugees from Germany.
Michaëlle Jean– A refugee from Haiti- Governor-General of Canada from 2005 to 2010.
Henry Kissinger– American diplomat and political scientist, former US Secretary of State and National Security Advisor, fled from Germany to USA in 1938.
Vladimir Lenin– Soviet leader,refugee who fled to Switzerland.
Friedrick Lessner– Founder member of the Independent Labour Party.
Karl Marx– Political theorist, German refugee.
David Miliband– British MP,son of a Belgian Jewish refugee.
Ed Miliband – Former leader of the Labour Party, son of a Belgian Jewish refugee.
Leon Trotsky – Marxist theorist.
Psychology and Philosophy
Michael Balint – Hungarian Jew, psychoanalyst, fled from Nazis.
Sigmund Freud – Austrian Jew, founded psychoanalysis, fled from Nazis in Austria.
Anna Freud – Psychoanalyst, daughter of Sigmund, fled with him.
Ernest Gellner – Czech-Jewish philosopher, fled from the Nazis.
Stephan Korner – Czech-Jewish philosopher,fled from the Nazis.
Claude Lévi-Strauss – French-Jewish philosopher and anthropologist, French refugee.
Karl Popper – Austrian-Jewish philosopher, fled from Nazis to New Zealand.
Isaac Abravanel– Rabbi and politician, fled from Portugal to Spain.
Rabbi Leo Baeck– Reform Rabbi, holocaust survivor.
Rabbi Immanuel Jakobovits– Chief rabbi of Great Britain, fled from the Nazis to Britain.
Jesus – His family fled from the holy landbecause of King Herod.
Current Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso– refugee, he fled Tibet when China invaded.
Rabbi Hugo Gryn– Reform rabbi and holocaust survivor.
Paul Kahle– Christian Hebraist, fled from the Nazis to Britain.
Mullah Krekar– Iraqi Kurdish mullah, lives in Norway.
Muhammad (PBUH) – Fled from Mecca to Medina in 622.
Gustav Victor Rudolf Born – pharmacologist, German-Jewish refugee.
Max Born – Winner of Nobel prize for physics, German-Jewish refugee.
Edith Bulbring – Pharmacologist, German-Jewish refugee.
Carl Djerassi – The inventor of the first contraceptive pill, Austrian refugee.
John Dollond – Inventor of the achromatic lens, founder of Dollond and Aitchison, descended from Huguenot refugees.
Albert Einstein– One of the world’s most famous scientists, German-Jewish refugee.
Alexander Grothendieck – Mathematician, German-Jewish refugee.
Robert Fano – Physicist, Italian-Jewish refugee.
Ugo Fano – Physicist, Italian-Jewish refugee.
Bernard Katz – Nobel Prize-winning biophysicist, German-Jewish refugee.
Sir Hans Krebs – Nobel Prize-winning scientist, German-Jewish refugee.
Sir John Krebs – Zoologist, son of Sir Hans Krebs.
Sir Harold Kroto – Nobel-winning chemist, son of German-Jewish refugees.
Liviu Librescu – Physicist, fled from Romania to Israel.
Lord (Claus) Moser – British professor of statistics and head of the Government Statistical Service, Austrian-Jewish refugee.
Alexander Alekhine – Chess World Champion, moved from Communist Russia to France.
Ossip Bernstein – Chess grandmaster, escapedfrom Communist Ukraine to France.
Efim Bogoljubow – Chess grandmaster, moved from the Soviet Union to Germany.
Fedor Bohatirchuk – Chess grandmaster, moved from Ukraine to Canada.
Jelena Dokic – Tennis player, Serbian refugee.
Mebrahtom Keflezighi – Olympic marathon silver medallist, Eritrean refugee toUS
Lomana LuaLua– Football player who has played forColchester United, Newcastle United and Portsmouth, was a refugee.
Mario Stanic – Former footballer with Chelsea. He used to play for Sarajevo F.C. who were targeted during the Bosnian War.
Christopher Wreh – Former Arsenal footballer, Liberian refugee.
TV and Film
Jackie Chan– Fled to the US from Hong Kong after being threatened with death by the Triads.
Zohra Daoud– Former Afghani actress and model, now settled in Malibu, California.
Marlene Dietrich– Actress and refugee from Nazi Germany.
Omid Djalili – Comedian and actor, he and his family are Iranian refugees.
Ben Elton – Comedian, grandson of a Czechoslovakian refugee.
Baron Lew Grade – Television mogul and uncle of Michael Grade, was a Russian refugee.
Fritz Lang – Film director, and a half-Jewish refugee.
Jerry Springer – Talk show host, parents were German refugees.
Rachel Weisz – Actress, both parents are Jewish refugees.
Billy Wilder – Film director and writer, Jewish refugee.
Writing and Publishing
Reinaldo Arenas – Cuban novelist, became a refugee in the USA after years of persecution for his sexuality and political ideas. His autobiography, Before Night Falls, was on the New York Times list of the ten best books of the year 1993 and was made into a film in 2000.
Yasmin Alibhai-Brown – Journalist and author, Ugandan refugee.
Isabel Allende – Author of The House of Spirits, Chilean refugee who fled after receiving death threats following the overthrow of her father’s cousin, Salvador Allende.
Hannah Arendt–one of the most influential political philosophers of the twentieth century. Born into a German-Jewish family, she was forced to leave Germany in 1933.
Elias Canetti – Winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1981, Bulgarian refugee.
Joseph Conrad – Author of Heart of Darkness,refugee.
Anne Frank – German-born diarist, as a child she fled from Nazi Germany to the Netherlands.
Karen Gershon – A writer and poet, as a child she fled from Nazi Germany to Great Britain.
Michael Hamburger – A noted British Translator and Poet, as a child he fled from Nazi Germany to London.
Lord Paul Hamlyn CBE – The founder of Octopus Publishing Group, Jewish refugee from Germany.
Victor Hugo – Author of Les Misérables and The Hunchback of Notre Dame, due to his political beliefs, he was forced to flee France several times.
Ismail Kadare– A winner of the Booker prize who fled Albania in 1990 for political reasons.
Shaparak “Shappi” Khorsandi – A British comedian and author of Iranian origin. She is the daughter of the Iranian political satirist and poet Hadi Khorsandi. Her family left Iran when she was a child following the Islamic Revolution.
Marina Lewycka– Author whose first book, A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian, sold over a million copies worldwide.
Ruth Prawer Jhabvala – Novelist and film screenwriter, German-Jewish refugee.
Judith Kerr – Children’s writer, German-Jewish refugee.
Thomas Mann – Winner of the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature, moved from Germany to Switzerland and from there to the US.
Rigoberta Menchú – An author and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992, Guatemalan refugee.
Vladimir Nabokov – Russian author and lepidopterist, escaped to Europe from the Russian Civil War and then to the USfrom the advance of Nazi Germany.
Ursula Owen – Editor of Index on Censorship, was a German refugee as a baby.
John O’Donnell-Rosales – Cuban author, poet and journalist, escaped from Cuba with the remnants of his family after years of persecution for their political and religious views.
Felix Salten – Author of Bambi,Hungarian-born Jewish refugee from Nazis.
Loung Ung – A survivor of the Killing Fields of Cambodia, activist and author of the books First They Killed My Father and Lucky Child.
Ossip Bernstein – Chess player, fled from Russia to France.
Alina Fernandez – Daughter of Fidel Castro, fled Cuba to Spain , now lives in the United States. Former model, now hosts a talkshow.
Otto Kahn-Freund – Lawyer, German Jew who fled Nazi Germany to the UK.
Dalai Lama – His Holiness, the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso is the spiritual leader of Tibet. In 1959, following the Brutal suppression of the Tibetan national uprising in Lhasa by Chinese troops, he was forced to escape into exile and has since been living in Dharamsala, northern India.
Christoph Meili – Whistleblower, fled from Switzerland to the USbecause an arrest warrant was issued against him.
Merhan Karimi Nasseri – An Iranian refugee who lived in the departure lounge of Terminal One in Charles de Gaulle Airport from 1988 to 2006. Subject of the Steven Spielburg film ‘The Terminal’.
Refugee Week 2022 Theme: Healing.Are there any famous refugees? ›
Albert Einstein – One of the world's most famous scientists, German-Jewish refugee. Alexander Grothendieck – Mathematician, German-Jewish refugee. Robert Fano – Physicist, Italian-Jewish refugee. Ugo Fano – Physicist, Italian-Jewish refugee.Which country has the most refugees? ›
Welcome to UNHCR's Refugee Population Statistics Database.
- There are 79.5 million people around the world who have been forcibly displaced—the highest figure ever recorded. ...
- About 1% of the world's population is displaced. ...
- 50% of the world's refugees are children. ...
- Developing countries host more than 85% of the world's refugees.
The word refugee comes from French and was first used in the modern context following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685, which sent the Protestant Huguenots to flee the religious persecution by the French King Louis XIV.What is the moral of the story refugee? ›
Refugee is about survival and courage from the point of view of the refugee for sure, but it is also about the courage of those not directly affected, the courage to step up and make a change.Who are the 3 main characters in the book refugee? ›
- Josef: An 12 year-old Jewish boy living in Nazi Germany in 1938. ...
- Isabel: An 11 year-old girl living in Cuba in 1994, under the tyranny of Fidel Castro. ...
- Mahmoud: An 13 year-old boy living in Syria in 2015, suffering through a terrible war.
The boats and ships in the story represent the characters' hope and the potential to build a new life in a new country. Each of the three protagonists and their families take a journey by boat. For Josef, the St. Louis gives its Jewish passengers hope that they can escape Nazi Germany and find refuge in Cuba.What is the most famous refugee camp? ›
Kutupalong refugee camp (Bengali: কুতুপালং শরণার্থী শিবির) is the world's largest refugee camp. It is in Ukhia, Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, inhabited mostly by Rohingya refugees that fled from ethnic and religious persecution in neighboring Myanmar.What are the top 5 refugee countries currently? ›
In 2021, 68% of all refugees originated from just five countries: Syria, Venezuela, Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Myanmar.
- Refugee. ...
- Asylum Seekers. ...
- Internally Displaced Persons. ...
- Stateless Persons. ...
- Returnees. ...
- Religious or Political Affiliation. ...
- Escaping War. ...
- Discrimination based on Gender/Sexual Orientation.
In 2017 and 2018 Atlanta resettled the highest number of refugees of any U.S. city.How can we help refugees? ›
- Sign our Every Refugee Matters pledge. We want to see a more compassionate way to support refugees. ...
- Take part in Miles for Refugees. This June, every mile counts. ...
- Volunteer to help refugees. ...
- Use our teaching resources. ...
- Buy products designed by refugees.
People become refugees for a number of different reasons, including: Persecution based on race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion. War. Ethnic or political violence.What are 2 facts about refugees? ›
The UN resettlement system prioritises asylum seekers for resettlement according to considered needs and situations of vulnerability, rather than waiting time. In 2021, there were 27.1 million refugees worldwide. 21 countries resettled 57,500 of these globally, down from 107,800 in 2019.What is the biggest cause of refugees? ›
A refugee has a well-founded fear of persecution for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. Most likely, they cannot return home or are afraid to do so. War and ethnic, tribal and religious violence are leading causes of refugees fleeing their countries.What do refugees need most? ›
The UNHCR Results Framework defines basic needs in terms of access to basic services and assistance in health, nutrition, WASH, food, shelter, energy, education, as well as domestic items and specialised services for people with specific needs.Are refugees legal? ›
The right to seek asylum was incorporated into international law following the atrocities of World War II. Congress adopted key provisions of the Geneva Refugee Convention (including the international definition of a refugee) into U.S. immigration law when it passed the Refugee Act of 1980.Do refugees have rights? ›
They have the same rights as everyone else, plus special or specific protections including: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (Article 14), which states that everyone has the right to seek and enjoy asylum from persecution in other countries.Who is called refugee? ›
Refugee. Refugees are persons who are outside their country of origin for reasons of feared persecution, conflict, generalized violence, or other circumstances that have seriously disturbed public order and, as a result, require international protection.
Although each refugee's experience is unique, some common themes in refugee-written literature include war, education, childhood, identity, culture, equality, respect, fear, hope, suffering, sadness, discrimination, and displacement.How does Refugee end? ›
Despite her grief, Isabel is able to persevere and guide her family to reach the shores of Miami. At the end of the book, Isabel is able to reconnect with her heritage when her great uncle Guillermo gives her a new trumpet, and Isabel is able to count clave.Is Refugee based on a true story? ›
Although the main characters are fictional children, some of the side characters are real, and the events are based on actual stories of refugees. Be forewarned: as in real life, not everyone survives.How does Josef look like? ›
He is of average height with brown hair and brown eyes. His only distinguishing characteristics are big ears and wire-rimmed glasses. Josef's life is turned upside down on the night when Nazi Brownshirts take his father away to a concentration camp.What race is Josef in refugee? ›
Josef is a Jewish boy living in 1930s Nazi Germany. With the threat of concentration camps looming, he and his family board a ship bound for the other side of the world. Isabel is a Cuban girl in 1994.Who is Lito to Isabel in refugee? ›
Isabel's grandfather and Teresa's father. (“Lito” is short for abuelito, meaning “grandfather.”) Lito is skeptical of leaving Cuba, but Isabel convinces him to join the rest of the family on the boat to Miami in order to keep the family together and help Teresa as she prepares to give birth to a new baby boy.What does Isabel trade her trumpet for? ›
But when Isabel is forced to trade her trumpet for the gasoline that will allow them to travel to Cuba, this emphasizes that Isabel is prioritizing her family's safety and potential for a better future in the U.S. over her connection to her Cuban roots.What does Isabel trade for gasoline in refugee? ›
Isabel trades her trumpet to a nearby fisherman for two jugs of gasoline, hoping that they will buy passage for her family with Iván's.Why is Isabel a refugee? ›
Isabel's story is similar to what many Cubans experienced under dictator Fidel Castro. Facing a food shortage and political persecution, Isabel and her family make the dangerous decision to leave Cuba on a homemade raft. They hope to make it safely to Miami to start a new life in the United States.Who treats refugees Best? ›
- 1) Germany. The huge migration of refugees seeking asylum in Germany in autumn of 2015 has dominated the news for months. ...
- 2) Sweden. ...
- 3) The United States. ...
- 4) Brazil.
- Kakuma, Kenya. This refugee camp was established in 1992. ...
- Hagadera, Kenya. Hagadera is also a planned camp built in 1992. ...
- Dagahaley, Kenya. 87,223 residents, primarily from Somalia, live in this planned camp built in 1992 as a result of the Somalia Civil War. ...
- Ifo, Kenya. ...
- Zaatari, Jordan.
Following a joint Ministerial Decision issued on 31 December 2019, 12 countries were designated as safe countries of origin. These are Ghana, Senegal, Togo, Gambia, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Albania, Georgia, Ukraine, India and Armenia. In January 2021 Pakistan and Bangladesh were included in the aforementioned list.What are the top 3 host countries for refugees? ›
The most important of these countries are; Germany – 1,337,000 refugees (1.6% of the total population) Ethiopia – 830,000 (0.7%) United States – 734,000 (0.2%)Who Cannot be a refugee? ›
Responsible persons are those who commit, instigate, aide in the commission of a particular crime, as well as those found to have participated in a joint criminal enterprise. Such persons cannot be invoke the right to family reunification either.Who is responsible for refugees? ›
The UN agency that helps refugees is UNHCR (also known as the UN Refugee Agency), which emerged in the wake of World War II to help Europeans displaced by that conflict. UNHCR was established on December 14, 1950 by the UN General Assembly with a three-year mandate to complete its work and then disband.What is a refugee Grade 7? ›
A refugee is someone who flees from danger in his or her country. The person leaves their country to seek shelter or protection elsewhere. This happens during times of civil unrest, war or natural disaster.Which US state has the most refugees? ›
California remains one of the states receiving the largest number of refugees. During fiscal years 2010-2020, about 10% of refugee arrivals resettled in California. In recent years (2017-2021) Sacramento, San Diego, and Los Angeles counties were the top destinations for refugees in California.Where do most refugees live in America? ›
Most refugees are resettling Texas, California, and New York.What state in the United States has the most refugees? ›
In 2020, more than half of admitted refugees (56 percent) were resettled in the top ten resettling states (Table 5). California, Washington, and Texas resettled the most refugees (10, 9.4, and 7.6 percent of admitted refugees, respectively), and Washington, Idaho, and Kentucky resettled the most refugees per capita, ...How do refugees benefit? ›
As they find their footing, refugees contribute significant tax revenue, stimulate the economy, raise productivity, improve local worker wages, boost innovation, and often generate international trade because of their connections to various countries.
It is because those refugees have never chosen to be born in war-affected countries and like us, they too deserve a better life, a happy one. As human beings, we should do our part to ensure that they have that because what is life if it is not lived for helping others?What problems do refugees face? ›
The most common issues among refugees are depression and anxiety, but more serious issues like post-traumatic stress disorder can also be found in populations affected by conflict, violence, and persecution. Mental health is health, regardless of who you are or where you live.Did you know facts about refugees? ›
- Poverty. Banned from working, people seeking asylum are forced to live below the poverty line.
- Waiting. People are often left to wait for months or years for a decision on their claim.
- Hatred. We work with people who suffer horrific violence, attacks and racist abuse.
- Isolation. ...
The Syrian refugee crisis remains the largest humanitarian and development crisis in the world. Nearly 7 million Syrians are internally displaced, and 6.6 million have been forced to seek safety as refugees in Lebanon, Turkey, Jordan and beyond.Who are the three main refugees? ›
- Josef: An 12 year-old Jewish boy living in Nazi Germany in 1938. ...
- Isabel: An 11 year-old girl living in Cuba in 1994, under the tyranny of Fidel Castro. ...
- Mahmoud: An 13 year-old boy living in Syria in 2015, suffering through a terrible war.
Gallup's updated Migrant Acceptance Index ranks North Macedonia, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Montenegro – southeast European countries that along with Greece and Italy faced the initial waves of refugees – as the least-accepting countries for migrants.What are the top 3 countries of immigrants? ›
|Country||# Immigrants||% of Population|
internal migration: moving within a state, country, or continent. external migration: moving to a different state, country, or continent. emigration: leaving one country to move to another. immigration: moving into a new country.Where do refugees come from? ›
72% of the world's refugees are living in countries neighbouring their country of origin, often in developing countries. Over 6.8 million people have fled conflict in Syria, and many more are displaced inside the country. Türkiye is the biggest refugee hosting country in the world.