11 Famous People whom You May Not Know They are “Refugees”

20 June 2017




Albert Einstein

the initiator of relativity theory which earned him the Nobel Prize in physics in 1921: he was born and raised as a Jewish German citizen before leaving his home to flee the genocide of Jews to Switzerland and the United States, respectively. In 1940, he became an American citizen and lived his life there until his death. 




The 14th Dalai Lama

the Tibetan spiritual and thought leader: he was born and raised in a farmer family in the Ando region in northern Tibet. He had to seek refuge in India in 1959 during the Tibetan uprising against the Chinese rule and received the Nobel Peace Prize 30 years later from his work to promote peace and human rights around the world. 




Rita Ora

one of the most successful pop singers in England: she was born in an Albanian family in Prishtina, Yugoslavia (Kosovo at the present). Her parents decided to seek refuge and settled down in London when she was only 1 year old in order to flee the Albanian execution in the era when Yugoslavia was falling. Now, she is a British citizen. 




Lord (Claus) Moser

one of the greatest contributions to England in statistics, mathematics, economics and science: At the age of 13, he and his family became ones of the refugees who escaped the genocide of Jews from Germany to England. He had been a university professor for 20 years before being appointed the second director of National Statistics Office and the first head of government statistics office in England




Alek Wek

a famous model, an influencer in fashion and the first black person who was on the cover of Elle Magazine: she came from the Dingkian ethnic group in South Sudan. She escaped the war to England in 1991 when she was only nine years old. She now lives in New York and has a chance to return to South Sudan for public services. 




Karl Marx

a renowned German philosopher, economist and socialist: he was forced to leave Germany and France due of his ideas and writings supporting his radical left party since 1848. He became a non-statesman and spent his remaining life as a refugee in England, which was the time when he published the "Communist Manifesto", the most powerful socialist writing to this day. 




Bob Marley

the legendary world-famous Jamaican reggae musician recognized to this day: he was instrumental in peace calls during the political upsurge in Jamaica. In late 1976, he and his wife were about to be assassinated and got seriously injured, which was expected to result from political reasons. After rehabilitation, he moved to London before passing away in the next 5 years. 



Michael Marks

one of the founders of the worldwide retail store "Mark and Spencer". He was a Polish immigrant who migrated to England to apply for a job with a British company employing refugees. He learned English and sales knowledge from scratch until he could share investment with his friends to set up their own retail business. His business was very successful and he was granted British citizenship at a later date. 





an artist who made his break in England and the United States in 2007 receiving praise from many music critics: he was born in Beirut, Lebanon. His parents were forced to flee the country in order to escape the war to France since he could not remember before moving to England when he was 9. He had the opportunity to study music and made famous albums. 




Max Born

a physicist who contributed to the "Quantum Mechanics" theory and received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1954: he was a university professor during the German Empire and worked with many physicists develop the works related to quantum mechanics. In 1933 when the Nazi army was in power, he was dismissed and expelled from the university because of his Jewish descent. He made his way to Italy, England and Scotland before winning the Nobel Prize and returning to Germany causing him to seek refuge in Italy, England and Scotland before receiving the Nobel Prize and traveled back to Germany during the end of his life. 




Yusra Mardini

a swimmer from "Refugee Team" which participated in the Olympic Games for the first time in its history: she is a Syrian young rising swimmer who embarked on an evacuation boat to escape the war to Europe. When the boat was not working, she and her sister had to swim in the Mediterranean overnight to haul a boat with 19 refugees ashore. Currently, she holds the refugee status and is on her training in Germany. At the latest Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, she was ranked 41st in the 100m freestyle.