Helen Benedict, co-author with Eyad Awwadawnan of Map of Hope and Sorrow: Stories of Refugees Trapped in Greece, has been writing about refugees for more than a decade. A recipient of the 2021 PEN Jean Stein Grant for Literary Oral History and the Ida B. Wells Award for Bravery in Journalism, she has also written 13 books of fiction and nonfiction. Helen is a professor of journalism at Columbia University.
Helen’s description about her talk:
Almost anyone would agree that war is horrifying and peaceful countries should do their best to help its victims. The widespread eagerness to welcome fleeing Ukrainians after Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded their country last February is a heartening example of such aid. But behind that altruism lies an ugly truth: most of the countries embracing Ukrainians are simultaneously persecuting equally desperate refugees from elsewhere. One of the worst examples of this unequal mercy is taking place in Greece, a major gateway to Western Europe for anyone fleeing the Middle East or Africa.
I have been visiting Greece to interview refugees there since 2018, resulting in a book of their stories called Map of Hope and Sorrow. In my talk I will tell some of these stories and discuss the global implications of denying refugees equal justice.
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