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A Million Stories – Refugee Lives

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A Million Stories – Refugee Lives

"Did you hear it?" "They read my story!" she said to me happily and enthusiastically on the evening of the celebration of the worldwide release of "A Million Stories" her wet eyes with mixed emotions looking at me.

Outside Cologne Germany's city center’s public library, trees are full of cherry blossoms…I'd guess at least a million blossoms. Inside, library staff and volunteers work on a humanitarian project called A Million Stories – Refugee Lives.

A Million Stories is a collaborative project led by Roskilde Libraries in Denmark that have partnered with Cologne’s Public Libraray, and two other libraries, one in Athens, Greece and one in Malmö, Sweden. Over the past year, numerous stories of the lives of refugees were collected and last Thursday, April 19th, the newly created website of these incredible stories was presented to the public.

Among the stories collected is one of a dear friend of mine - Malika Al-Mohamad.

Malika born in Damascus fled Syria along with her family in 2015. Prior to Thursday, I hadn't thought of Malika as a refugee. With Malika I don't see a race or nationality, I don't see a color, I don't see war. I just see Malika - a friend who makes me laugh, a poet who inspires me in a Robin Williams of Dead Poets Society kind of way, a lady of wit, spirit, optimism, and strength.

Malika's story "From death to life" among numerous other refugee stories can be found at