The Refugee Experience Through an Exhibit at UWS

The Choices and Sacrifices a Refugee Makes In Their Journey for Asylum

There are millions of refugees fleeing persecution all across the world, many of them from Syria, Afghanistan, or Somalia.

And in an attempt to break down some of the stereotypes about refugees, a special exhibit has popped up at UW-Superior.

“Refugee for 30 Minutes” is an interactive exhibit – participants roll dice and make choices that simulate the tough obstacles and choices refugees have to make.

“Refugees don’t just go one certain way through these countries as they’re placed out,” said UWS sophomore David Kenney. “In the game as you’re rolling the dice you get moved back or forward. It kind of depends. Every refugee has a different story.”

It takes about a half hour, and it takes you through each step a refugee would take from deciding to leave to staying at a refugee camp to seeking asylum in another country.

“No one chooses to be a refugee I think is what we want people to take away from this,” said sophomore Aaron Knickrehm. “[We want to] break the stereotypes of course, and to just maybe look into the more humanitarian side of it.”

Political science professor Dr. Khalil Dokhanchi, originally from Iran, has been teaching at UWS for 22 years now.

Dr. Dokhanchi says that while his class is a political science course, the purpose of the exhibit does not have a political message.

“The idea is to make decisions not based on fear and ignorance, but based on solid information and data,” he said. “What we want to do is to teach people that refugees are entitled to a judicial process. To a hearing, they have a right to a hearing.”

This exhibit is part a partnership with the American Red Cross.

All the displays are made by the students.

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