Amazing things created by refugees

Amazing things created by refugees

  • Text by HUCK HQ
Displaced culture — In Huck 53 we explore real stories of refugees: What does it mean to be forced from your home and to set off for a new life with no guarantees? Here's a list of refugees who went on to make great things.

News stories can sometimes make us forget that refugees are also people. And people can do great things when they’re given the freedom to be safe. Here’s some examples of things we wouldn’t have if we tightened borders.

The iPhone

Steve Jobs grandmother was an Armenian refugee who lost her first husband in the war and moved to San Francisco with her parents. If you don’t want refugees in your country, don’t use an iPhone you hypocrite.
Apple Inc. CEO and co-founder, Steve Jobs health

Discovery of Immunological Tolerance

An Emeritus professor, Leslie Brent is approaching his nineties, and has behind him a legacy that evokes both terror and admiration. In 1938 he was one of the first Jews to escape anti-semitic prejudice in Nazi Germany on the Kindertransports, coming to the United Kingdom as a thirteen-year-old refugee. His family were not so fortunate. Despite suffering due to the absence of his parents and survivor’s guilt, Leslie had a successful academic career, climaxing with his co-discovery of immunological tolerance, which led to a Nobel prize. Read his full story in Huck 53 – The Change Issue, as part of our portrait series shot by Michael Vince Kim.

The Mini

The creator of the Mini, Sir Alec Issigonis, was a Greek refugee who fled Turkey in 1922, ahead of the Great Fire of Smyrna and the Turkish re-possession of Smyrna at the end of the Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922). Issigonis went into the motor industry as an engineer and designer and later designed the mini in response to fuel rationing brought about by the Suez Crisis.

Paper Planes

Calculated as the seventh best-selling song by a British artist in the digital era, Paper Planes was written and performed by MIA, a British hip hop artist who fled to the UK aged eleven from the Sri Lankan Civil War in which her father was a Tamil activist.


Check out the full article in Huck 53 – The Change Issue. Grab a copy in the Huck Shop  or subscribe today to make sure you don’t miss another issue.