What We Are Reading Today: The Ungrateful Refugee by Dina Nayeri

Updated 10 September 2019

What We Are Reading Today: The Ungrateful Refugee by Dina Nayeri

The Ungrateful Refugee is a clarion call for human dignity, especially for those who have been forced from their home countries.

Author Dina Nayeri details her experience fleeing Iran as a child and ties it to several other refugees’ stories — people who fled persecution and certain death to give themselves and their families a better life.

Nayeri “tears the flimsy distinction between ‘economic migrant’ and ‘refugee’ to shreds as she argues for a common humanity no matter the circumstances and reveals callous and inhumane Western attitudes and policies toward immigrants,” said a review in goodreads.com.

The Ungrateful Refugee “is a blend of memoir and nonfiction that recounts Nayeri’s experiences as a young refugee, with additional narratives from other refugees from Iran who looked to Europe and the US as safe havens only to go through years of brutal hardship and callous bureaucracy,” added the review.

“It should come as no surprise that this book is full of righteous anger at the way refugees are treated by the Western world. This is absolutely a book for our times.”


What We Are Reading Today: Widen the Window

Updated 13 October 2019

What We Are Reading Today: Widen the Window

  • Why an event that is stressful for one person can be traumatizing for another

Stress is our internal response to an experience that our brain perceives as threatening or challenging. Trauma is our response to an experience in which we feel powerless or lacking agency. Until now, researchers have treated these conditions as different, but they actually lie along a continuum. 

Dr. Elizabeth Stanley explains the significance of this continuum, how it affects our resilience in the face of challenge, and why an event that is stressful for one person can be traumatizing for another.

This groundbreaking book examines the cultural norms that impede resilience in America, especially our collective tendency to disconnect stress from its potentially extreme consequences and override our need to recover, according to a review published on goodreads.com.

It explains the science of how to direct our attention to perform under stress and recover from trauma.

With stories from men and women Dr. Stanley has trained in settings as varied as military bases, health care facilities, and Capitol Hill, as well as her own striking experiences with stress and trauma, she gives readers hands-on strategies they can use themselves.