The Migrant Diaries
Published by: Fordham University Press
430 pages, 152.00 x 228.00 x 0.00 mm, 40 b/w images and 12 illustrative b/w maps
- ISBN: 9780823296989
- Published: April 2021
The Author's profits from this book will be donated to the charity: CHOOSE LOVE
What is it like to run away from bombing, lose your family, and work out how to take care of yourself in a foreign country when you are seven years old? What do you do when the woman who promised you a good job in Europe turns out to have sold you into prostitution? How do you escape from torture and detention in Libya? What is it like to almost drown in the Mediterranean and then be confined in a garbage and rat-filled settlement on a Greek island for years?
In this book, Lynne Jones answers these questions by combining direct testimony from children with a blazingly frank eyewitness account of providing mental health support on the front line of the migrant crisis across Europe and Central America in the past five years. Her diaries document how a compassionate welcome shifted to indifference and hostility toward those seeking refuge from war, disaster, and poverty in the richest countries in the world. They shine light on what it is like to be caught up on the front lines of the migrant crises in Europe and Central America, either as a person in flight or as a volunteer trying to help. They show how people who have fled war, poverty, and disaster—trapped in degrading, humiliating living conditions—have responded with resourcefulness and creativity. In the absence of most large professional humanitarian agencies, migrants and volunteers together have created a new form of humanitarianism that challenges old ways of working.
Today there are 79 million forcibly displaced people in the world today, 1 percent of the world's population. Understanding the perspectives of people on the move has never been more important.
Lynne Jones’ diaries describe an extraordinary five years working in the incredible complexity of the refugee crises in France, Greece, Italy and Mexico. Although refugees dominate headlines and shape politics, for many of us the questions of how and why people have ended up moving such distances to find themselves in camps in Calais or Tijiuana remain unclear. Lynne Jones’ diaries shine a light on places that are inaccessible to most of us and record the voices of people we rarely hear from. They are warm, affectionate moving and thoughtful. As a mental health professional, she is able to hear stories that others do not, and to understand what lies behind them. The accounts are full of humility and often humour. These events are essential for us all to understand: we all have the ability to help address them and prevent vast unnecessary suffering. Lynne describes the attempts to help, the global structures that causes and exacerbate the problems and humanitarian attempts (good and bad) to assist people. I would recommend this book to everyone I know: it is essential reading to understand these events and the people caught up in them, and to start thinking about how to help. ~Dr. Alexander Van Tulleken, TV Presenter, Associate Professor in Infection & Population Health at University College London
Lynne Jones is one of the great witnesses on this planet. But in that word 'witness,' as we usually use it, something is missing. It has about it something accidental, almost passive. Reading The Migrant Diaries, you begin to understand what true witnessing is capable of being: an act of humility and courage, of sharing and healing, but above all a form of action. The language of The Migrant Diaries is beautiful in its directness and chastening in its clarity. It forbids complacency. It does away with all the conventional modes of mourning and moral argument. Lynne Jones sees and listens. And that is everything. ~Verlyn Klinkenborg, Author, Yale University and former member of New York Times editorial board
This book matters. The people Lynne Jones describes are human beings who were in these situations just because of bad luck. And when the outside world blocked us or forgot us, we refugees struggled against the odds to help ourselves. These stories need to be told and should not be forgotten. ~Housam Jackaly, Activist, Syrian Refugee living in France