Syrian refugees have been a popular news topic as well as debate for a while now. The issues surrounding the Syrian crisis evokes powerful and emotional reactions of all kinds. What concerns most Americans is the threat that Syrian refugees pose to national security. With so many myths, opinions, horror stories, heartbreaking accounts of escape, how are people supposed to discover the facts? Who are the people who are seeking refuge in America? How do they end up here? What led them to abandon home and start over halfway across the world? These are all many valid questions and concerns or even misunderstandings Americans have regarding the Syrian refugee. How are Americans supposed to feel comfortable or get to know a group of people who is vilified (the terrorist angle) or ignored (children)?
The Immigration Museum on Ellis Island will be working in conjunction with museums such as the Holocaust Museum and the Resettling in GA museum as well as the US Committee for Refugees & Immigrants organization to create an interactive museum exhibit dedicated to the explanation, background, and truth of the Syrian refugee. This museum exhibit will focus on topics such as national security policies surrounding the Syrians, the Syrian conflict, the number of refugees accepted into America vs the rest of the world, as well as personal stories collected from Syrian refugees. The goal of this project is to better inform and educate the public about Syrian refugees in the hopes of easing friction between Americans and Syrians.
Much of the exhibit will be centered around oral stories from Syrians who have come to America. These stories will be the result of an in depth interview process. Photos of each interviewee will be displayed in order to allow guests to get to know each person and make a connection to the exhibit. Guests will also have access to an interactive kiosk which will allow them to read, watch, or view pictures of refugees from the past. These refugee groups will include Cambodia, Vietnam, Jewish, Cuban, as well as others, who have all taken refuge in the United States over the course of history. This kiosk will allow guests to understand not only each group of refugee, but the larger picture of what being a refugee is and how they are received in America.
It was wonderful getting to know all of you! Enjoy your break!!