Close sites icon close
Search form

Search for the country site.

Country profile

Country website

Refugee Voices

Refugee Voices

The Refugee Voices series showcases the stories of refugees, returnees, internally displaced and stateless people through their own lens and in their own words.

Through first-person narratives from across Asia and the Pacific, they share their experiences, perspectives and aspirations.
Mahbooba Afghan with her father at their family home in Quetta, Pakistan.

As refugees, we have more than just basic needs. We have other desires, too.

— Mahbooba, refugee in Quetta, Pakistan

Refugee Oral History Project

Since 2022, In partnership with UNHCR Pakistan, The Citizens Archive of Pakistan established UNHCR’s First Refugee Oral History Project. Oral History interviews are centered around the narrator's experience and perspective allowing rich insights into culture, heritage and tradition.



Listen to the voices of Afghan refugees in Pakistan as they share their dreams, hopes, and the challenges of becoming refugees. From learning new languages to altering the celebration of their religious festivals, their narratives highlight resilience and the desire for opportunity. These stories underscore determination and the universal quest for inclusion and opportunity, fostering solidarity and empathy.

Embark on a journey with Dr. Matiullah Noorzad as he reminisces about tranquil days by the Kunar River in Afghanistan, where childhood was filled with love and peace. Reflecting on family bonds and simple joys, his story echoes resilience on this World Refugee Day. ‘Afghan Childhood Along the Kunar' beautifully portrays the familial bonds and the nurturing environment of the homeland.

Refugee Voices

Through first-person narratives, refugees from across Asia and the Pacific share their experiences, perspectives and aspirations as people forced to flee.



Denmark. Girl Power Leadership Academy workshop

Khalida Popal, Founder & CEO of the Girl Power Organization, uses her love of sports to inspire young Afghan girls to dream big. 

A refugee in Thailand attends Siam University through the UNHCR-DAFI programme

 A refugee in Thailand shares his story of struggle, study and eventually success through education.

an Afghan athlete and refugee activist living in Australia

Asif Sultani, an Afghan athlete and refugee activist living in Australia, shares his lessons on overcoming defeat and cultivating resilience.

Formerly a stateless person himself, Yutthachai Jaju is now helping to end statelessness among communities in Chiang Rai, northern Thailand.

Amid the COVID-19 crisis in India, Ghaffar Darabian, a car mechanic who fled Iran and now lives in Pune, explains why he feels that we must always help others in need.

Bangladesh.Film school started by Rohingya refugees delivers COVID information to camps

Faruque Mohammed, 33, is a Rohingya refugee and co-founder of Omar’s Film School in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. The informal school trains young Rohingya refugees on photography and videography so they can tell their own stories. 

Leena Al-Mujaheed, founder of the Yemeni Refugee Women Association in Malaysia, calls on fellow women to break free of restrictive traditions.

Mahbooba, a 22-year-old Afghan refugee in Pakistan, has often struggled to continue her education while also helping to provide for her family. She explains what has motivated her to persevere.

Born a refugee in Iran, Zahra Mohammadi returned to Afghanistan as a young child. Now 20 years old, she describes why she remains hopeful for the country’s future and urges the international community to ‘not leave us behind’.

Eight years after fleeing Myanmar alone as a 12-year-old Rohingya boy, Mohammed Anwar recounts his long journey to Texas, United States, and describes his hopes for the future.

Having fled Myanmar as a young boy, Mohammed Rafique reflects on his current home of Carlow, Ireland and shares his hopes for fellow Rohingya refugees.

Bangladesh. 3 year mark of the Rohingya refugee influx in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh.

Three years after she fled to Bangladesh, Rohingya refugee Nur Ayna shares her memories of Myanmar, experiences in exile, and dreams of returning home.