Making Home Away

So I sat them down and told them: the five of us are here, me, you and your father, wherever the five of us are, that place should be your heaven.
Discover their stories


Current 'Home' West Midlands, UK

Dareen, a female refugee from Syria, found small day-to-day challenges in her new home in Coventry:

"You know, I can’t find people who speak Arabic that I can understand.  I think all people in England, English people, I can’t understand. (And) nobody speaks Arabic about me same my country or another country (ie. the same dialect of Arabic). One of my neighbours is from Afghanistan. She explained to me about the bins, when they are coming (to collect them).  I didn’t understand my case worker properly.  I saw the people for the bins were coming. (So) I get the blue bin... I don’t understand.  I ask the man.  I show him.  He explained to me about the green bin."

When refugees first arrive and settle down in a new place, they can feel overwhelmed by the strangeness of things and upset by not knowing how to go about everyday tasks as they previously would have done.  This article (accessible, no paywall) explores contextual understandings of refugee integration by looking at the support offered to newly settled refugees in both Hull and Sheffield. The authors foreground, 'the importance of recognising that refugee integration is grounded and embodied in space and place.'


This extract is from an interview conducted in 2020 by KALWINDER SANDHU with supervision by VICKI SQUIRE, as part of the British Academy funded ‘Lost and Found: A Digital Archive of Migration, Displacement and Resettlement’  project’s Making Home Away archive.


Current 'Home'
West Midlands, UK


Current 'Home'
West Midlands, UK