From the archives: Author Dina Nayeri on breaking down refugee stereotypes

"The Ungrateful Refugee" by Dina Nayeri
"The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You" by Dina Nayeri.
Courtesy photos | Portrait by Anna Leader

When she was 8 years old, Dina Nayeri fled the Iranian revolution with her mother and brother, leaving behind her father. Her family settled in the United States, where she learned that acclimating to an adoptive country is an uphill battle.

In her first nonfiction book, “The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You,” Nayeri shared her story and that of other asylum seekers in hopes of breaking down misconceptions of the refugee experience.

The title of the book may come off as brash, but Nayeri says she is thankful for her journey and adoptive home. “We are grateful, we do love our country … but that gratitude is private. It can’t be channeled, it can’t be forced,” she said.

We’re revisiting MPR News host Kerri Miller’s 2020 conversation with Nayeri about the book.


  • Dina Nayeri, author of “The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You”

To listen to the full conversation you can use the audio player above.

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