Author(s): Rose George
'Asylum-seeker', 'refugee', 'Immigrant'...All the major British political parties have brought these words to the top of the political agenda. Some newspapers shout about the 'swarms' of refugees arriving on our shores; others criticise our government's lack of humanitarian principles. But what do we know about the refugees themselves - what it means to leave your home, your family, your past? Rose George has travelled to Liberia and Ivory Coast and also met refugees in Britain to discover what really happens when you are uprooted by war, greed and guns, or - as Liberians put it - when you've been 'running, running, running' for fourteen years non-stop; when you've rebuilt your house five times, and its been looted six times, so you don't bother putting glass in the windows any more; when, like Francis Flade Nemlin, you're a well paid NGO worker one minute, and a refugee in a transit centre with sixteen dependants only two weeks later. 'Anyone can become a refugee,' he says. 'Why not?'
Rose George was born in 1969. She has written features for the Guardian Weekend, Sunday Telegraph, Independent on Sunday and Arena. She has written on every thing from the alternative World Cup in Bhutan, to Saddam Hussein's birthday party in Baghdad. She lives in London.