Our Stories

Nikolai Levasov

NYC, New York

Hi. My name is Nikolai. I am a stateless person. I came to the United States 12 years ago from Estonia - a country with a huge statelessness problem.

 

I believe that stateless people in America deserve to have rights! I want to encourage you to join our community of stateless people of America. Only by working together we have a chance to change the current situation.

Ekaterina E

Seattle, Washington

My name is Ekaterina and I was born in the former Soviet republic of Uzbekistan. I came to the U.S. in 1994 at age 16 as a student.

 

The Soviet Union had just collapsed, and to travel, I was issued a Soviet passport. Many ethnic Russians were fleeing, fearing persecution, and my family urged me to try to continue my education in the USA.

Despite numerous attempts, I was not able to adjust my status.

My home country stripped me of nationality in 2000, and considers me a citizen of the Soviet Union, a country which no longer exists.  I have not seen my family in more than 24 years. I am a stateless person, a ghost, a citizen of Nowhere.

Miliyon Ethiopis

Maryland

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Tatianna Lesnikova

Springfield, Massachusetts

I am a stateless person who has been living in America for 25 years. I was a professional pianist. Here in America I make a living as a CNA and work part time as a piano teacher at Falcetti Music.

 

I hope that my situation will change and I will be able to see my son again, whom I have not seen for the past twenty five years. It is very sad to be a  stateless person without basic rights in modern America.

Dr. Abdul Hamid

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

My name is Abdul Hamid and I was born and raised in Burma (Myanmar) and belong to ethnic Rohingya, the world's most persecuted people. The entire Rohingya community became stateless as a result of discrimination based on ethnicity and religion.

 

In 1982 Burmese junta promulgated a discriminatory Citizenship law that was essentially based on the races, and 135 ethnic groups were recognized by the military dictatorship as being native to Burma, and thus eligible for citizenship which is enforced until this day. The “Rohingya”, however, is missing from this list despite having origins in Burma that can be traced back as early as the eighth century. Ever since the Rohingya have been treated as subhuman beings.

 

Eventually, I have migrated to Malaysia (in 1997) in order to escape from persecutions and oppression such as forced labor, arbitrary arrest, extortion of money, silent killing, confiscation of properties, arson attack, restriction on movement, just to name a few. I lived in Malaysia without having any status and finally was resettled to USA in 2015 as a refugee. I am stateless.

Marko

Chicago, Illinois

I am stateless and I have been in America since I was two years old. I am now twenty-nine and I still do not have a status to be able to work, drive and travel. It's been very hard living this way for so long.

 

I am a writer and my dream is to work in the movie industry one day and also open up my own café. There are no words to describe how difficult life can be in this situation.

 

Being stateless, is being half-alive. Many people do not know what it feels like to be in the land of freedom and opportunity and have no freedom or opportunities. I often wonder what it would be like to wake up and be like any other guy, having privilege to work, drive and travel. Every human being should be able to have these basic human rights.

Karina Ambartsaumian-Clough

Philadelphia, PA

My name is Karina and I have been stateless in the USA for over 20 years. I was born in the former Soviet Republic of Ukraine and at age 4 my parents sought refugee status in Canada and in the USA.

 

Both attempts were denied and now as an adult, I have been living in stateless limbo. I've often times felt like the life I am living and the story that I have to tell isn't being heard by the law. 

It is my passion and motivation to educate, share and bring to light my story and the story of the stateless living in the USA. 

Danah A

NYC, New York

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