Most of today was spent in Lynn, Massachusetts, interviewing refugee organizations for a documentary. I got to meet some really inspiring people, one of whom is Dr. Adnan Zubcevic, the executive director of the BCCRD, a refugee assistance non-profit that focuses on helping those coming from the former Yugoslavia.
A refugee himself, Dr. Zubcevic escaped the war with his wife and daughter, moving to Germany before settling in the US. He still returns to Bosnia twice a year, where most of his community is, and where he still runs a non-profit that helps troubled youth.
Many refugees come to the States not just with language barriers and cultural differences, but with the trauma of war and violence. In somewhere like Massachusetts though, it’s easy to forget that. After we finished up our interview with Dr. Zubcevic, he said something that I wish so badly was captured on camera:
“When I heard about what was happening in New York and New Jersey,” Dr. Zubcevic said, referring to the hurricane, “I got a flashback about the war and remembered what it was like again.”
These moments of history stay with refugees wherever they go. Perhaps the mind is a battlefield after all.