Hurricane Katrina, Syria, Iceland…and my heavy heart. 

More than 11,000 families in Iceland have offered to open their homes to Syrian refugees in a bid to raise the government’s cap of just 50 asylum seekers a year.

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I spent the last three days compiling facts, photos, videos, personal narratives to share with my 10th grade Cultural Competency class this week. (This morning, the projector didn’t work, and we lost 10-15 minutes of class time. When I got frustrated about what I didn’t have a chance to cover, I reminded myself: Get over your privileged “problems,” T.) 

Yesterday, I posted something on here that I found while lesson planning, thanks to writer Rebecca Solnit and her Facebook post: selections from a website that was put up in 2005 (it has since been taken down) where people from all over the country could share Housing Offered posts for the Hurricane Katrina victims in need.

Today, reading this particular story about Syrian refugees (not “migrants”) and about the generosity of the citizens of Iceland made me shed tears once again — tears of gratitude for  human kindness, camaraderie, empathy, compassion, unconditional generosity: More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis – Europe – World – The Independent.

These words in particular slayed me:

“They are our future spouses, best friends, the next soul mate, a drummer for our children’s band, the next colleague, Miss Iceland in 2022, the carpenter who finally finishes the bathroom, the cook in the cafeteria, a fireman and television host…People of whom we’ll never be able to say in the future: ‘Your life is worth less than my life.’”

These words, in how humanizing they are, ground me in why I do what I do…in a country to which I have immigrated, whose land and people I have claimed as my own.

Thanks for reading.