We founded mimycri with the mission to work together with refugees and raise awareness about the dangerous journeys migrants make in order to come to Europe. Without their unique and incredible stories, mimycri would not exist as an organization. The experiences of our team members with a refugee background are always present in everything that we do.
We always want to learn more about migration and about the people that leave their homes. So we asked our team members without migration experience: What books helped them to understand the reasons why people migrate, what obstacles they face and how they overcome these? Here are five of our recommendations:
What is the What - Dave Eggers
Recommended by: Nora & Vera
What it is about: The life of Valentino Achak Deng who was forced to leave his village in Sudan at the age of seven and walk hundreds of miles, crossing the deserts of three countries. When he finally resettles in the United States, he finds a life full of promise, but also heartache and myriad new challenges.
What Vera & Nora learned from the book: “For a few people this planet means home, for others there seems to be no place to really call home and belong to.“
Desert Flower - Waris Dirie
Recommended by: Megan
What it is about: This is the autobiography of Waris Dirie, a Somalian nomad who became an international supermodel and UN ambassador. The book tells the story of her life, starting as a child in Somalia where she experiences female genital mutilation and risks forced marriage. She flees her family and eventually lives illiterate and alone in London. Nevertheless, she overcomes the many obstacles she faces and is now internationally known for her story.
What Megan learned from the book: “It exposed the alienation that migrating between extreme living conditions can inflict.”
Mama Superstar - Melisa Manrique & Manik Chander
Recommended by: Kim
What it is about: This book portrays eleven different women who migrated to Germany from all over the world, be it Mexico, Iraq or South Korea. The stories are told from the viewpoints of their daughters who grew up in Germany. This book teaches us about love, cultural diversity and integration.
What Kim learned from the book: “Having a migrant mama myself, this book encouraged me to reflect about my own mother-daughter relationship.”
Illegality, Inc. - Ruben Andersson
Recommended by: Paula
What it is about: The journalist Andersson travels along the clandestine migration trail from sub-Saharan Africa to the Spanish North African enclaves and finally to the European continent. He moves away from the image of the “illegal immigrants” and instead exposes Europe’s powerful border regime and its vast industry built around migration.
What Paula learned from the book: “Europe is a fortress and it actively profits from presenting migration as illegal.”
More - Hakan Günday
Recommended by: Vera
What it is about: This novel is about the life of Gaza who becomes a human trafficker in Turkey at the age of 9 just like his father. He helps to smuggle migrants who want to cross over to Greece. By focusing on the story of the boy, the book covers the European refugee crisis and its devastating impact on so many lives.
What Vera learned from the book: “The world is not black or white. It is everything in between that.”