Interview with Dina Nayeri – Author of The Ungrateful Refugee

The Ungrateful Refugee

October 2020: Borderless
Rebel Book: #66
Book: The Ungrateful Refugee
by Dina Nayeri (Canongate)
Meetup: Hop In – Virtual Event Space
ft. Interview with Dina Nayeri
Fuel: ‘Home’
Cocktails From Your Cupboard by Mix + Muddle

Interview with Dina Nayeri – Author of The Ungrateful Refugee

It was a real privilege to interview Dina Nayeri and hear more about her story and the wonderful work she’s doing to advocate for and educate the world about the stories of refugees. We spoke to Dina about her wonderful book, The Ungrateful Refugee, and asked her to cut through the noise and bust through some of the constant media-myths circulating about refugees.

Cover Photo Credit: The New York Times.

Meet Echo Library + Second Tree, who work with refugees in Greece

As part of October’s event, we also invited friends of both Rebel Book Club and Dina to join us from Greece:

  • Keira Dignan works with Echo Library, an organisation providing a mobile library with books and resources in multiple languages to camps across Greece.
  • Dina Pasic works for Second Tree (also in Greece), who provide quality educational programming tailored to the needs of refugees during their time in the Greek camps. Their work is especially focused on language learning, integration and youth well-being.

Hear about their amazing work in our video below + find out about ways to get involved…

Take a Tour of Echo Library

Our lovely friends at Echo Library put together this little tour of their mobile library to show us where the books donated by Rebel Book Club end up and who pops into the bus to read them…

If you’d like to donate books to Echo Library, please head over to their website here.

How can you help refugees during lockdown?

It’s easy to feel helpless in 2020, as lockdowns come in and out around the world. However, Second Tree have opportunities in Greece that can be offered remotely.

So if you feel you have skills or ideas which could help Second Tree, please do get in touch and we will connect you with Dina P.

Here are some suggestions for the kind of support needed at Second Tree:

  • Sharing information with other communities
  • Connecting with newspapers, blogs, PR and influencers
  • Donations + financial support
  • Teaching English via webinars
  • Talks in Schools
  • Technical skills e.g. Graphic Design, web development, video editing, writing, content production

If you have other ideas or suggestions for Dina, please do get in touch.

If you’re interested in supporting in-person in Greece, please note they require a minimum commitment of 3 months.

8 Organisations helping refugees in the UK + Europe

There are other ways you can help from home or in your local area. In fact, much of the help that’s needed is in the communities refugees are moving to around the world – after they’ve left their respective camps.

Thanks to Keira from Echo Library, who has put together this list of organisations who support refugees across Europe – with a particular focus on the UK:

  1. Cities Must Act (Across Europe)
    – Localised campaign groups asking city mayors, councils and citizens to pledge their support for the immediate relocation of asylum seekers from the Greek hotspot islands.
  2. Acorn
    – A mass membership organisation that fights through community action for a fairer deal for low-income communities across the UK – often including displaced people who struggle to find this support otherwise. They’ve got local groups all around the country.
  3. Midst – Manchester
    – Group supporting women being detained pre-deportation in Manchester. They organise visits as well as campaign against the violence done there.
  4. South London Refugee Support
    – Support centre for refugees, asylum seekers and other migrants who are in crisis or at risk. Currently need help with delivering food packages, providing casework support over the phone and providing general chat-support with refugees experiencing loneliness.
  5. SDS – migration detention support in London
    – Organised out of SOAS University but open to all
  6. Lesbians and Gays Support the Migrants
    – Queer campaign group that fundraise and use direct action protest to defend the rights of all migrants and refugees
  7. Haringey Anti-raids
    – Local group building community resistance to immigration raids, detentions and deportations
  8. TERN
    – Mentor refugee entrepreneurs to set up their own business (their only possible form of independent income) whilst they wait for their asylum decision.

Keira says: ‘Some of these groups are very specific. Others are more general community organisations. As we discussed, some of the most important support we can provide happens when we’re really involved in our local communities. Getting involved with an organisation or collective is a great way to do that’.

J’Accueille

In addition, Rebel Book Club are currently on a Facebook community program alongside a number of inspiring communities. One of those communities is a French organisation called, J’Accueille.

J’Accueille connect refugees with individuals wishing to provide them with a room, for a period of 3 to 12 months. The purpose of this immersion period is to allow those welcomed to devote themselves fully to their integration project by temporarily freeing themselves from the problem of housing. To find out more, head to their website or follow them on social.

That’s a Wrap on October

Thanks to all of our members who came along to make this an extra special event. Let’s do our best as a community to spread the word and support these remarkable organisations.

If you have any questions about the organisations featured in this blog, feel free to email hello@rebelbookclub.co.uk and we’ll be happy to help.


And if you’re new here, welcome!

We are Rebel Book Club, a global nonfiction book club.

We’ve been reading together for 5+ years and we exist to accelerate your reading habits, connect you with like-minded thinkers + doers and take positive action in a changing world…

We have an event at the end of each month, where we hear from experts in a relevant field to the books we’re reading – which is how this blog post came about.

If you’d like to find out more, check out our websitefollow us on Instagram or email our Membership Manager at hello@rebelbookclub.co.uk.

We can’t wait to welcome you aboard!

Not Your Average Book Club.