The Internet at the Speed of Thought

Celebrities You Didn’t Know Were Refugees

at11:12 am | By

Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor

It’s so easy to hear about a refugee crisis in one part of the world or another and assume it has no impact on your day to day life.

The fact of the matter is that there are refugees all around us, in some form or another. It’s easy to tell yourself that these are merely disenfranchised people, poor vagrants from small countries, but anybody could become a refugee at any time if they’re no longer safe in their home country, regardless of status and position.

The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees released a report in early 2015 that stated that we’ve reached an all-time high for refugees crises at more than 60 million internally displaced peoples. This is the highest number of refugees the world has seen since World War II, and that number–thought it must be very hard to estimate–comes from before the crisis in Syria worsened to its current state.

Emma Lazarus’s engraving on the Statue of Liberty reads, “Give me your tired, your poor,” which is the image we have of most internally displaced people. You might just be surprised, however, to see which of the world’s biggest stars and most influential minds were refugees, too.

celebrity refugees intro

Credit: Michael Loccisano/ Getty Images

Start the slideshow below to see which celebrities were refugees, then SHARE this to change the stigma around displaced peoples!

1. Gloria Estefan

celebrity refugees gloria estefan-


Gloria Estefan was born in Havana, Cuba to the children of Spanish immigrants. During the Cuban Revolution, her family fled to Miami. She went on to win seven Grammy awards.

2. Freddie Mercury

celebrity refugees freddie mercury


Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara to Parsi parents in the Sultanate of Zanzibar, in modern-day Tanzania. His parents were originally from India and were practicing Zoroastrians. When Mercury was 17, his family fled their home during the 1964 Zanzibar Revolution and moved to England.