Beyond Borders


GEMS BY THE FOOT® seeks to highlight and humanize the stories of the refugee women and families resettling in our community through the IRC Dallas with our blog, BEYOND BORDERS. For our first BEYOND BORDERS series, we're asking resilient refugees, "What's your GEM?" to understand their stories through the lens of a token or "GEM," which may represent where they've come from, or a future hope and dream. Please follow along here as we curate inspiring stories of those forcibly displaced, rebuilding their lives one FOOT at a time.

Meet Asia

We’re excited to announce the newest member of our team, Asia! An Iraqi refugee, Asia relocated to Dallas, Texas by way of Istanbul, Turkey, a few years ago. Her parents passed away when she was younger, and her only brother still lives in Iraq with his wife and kids. Speaking very little Turkish and in a new country, she found it hard to get work in Istanbul as a refugee woman.

So after living in Turkey for two years, Asia applied to live in the United States. She resettled in Dallas,...



In 2014, Umniyah and her family fled Baghdad when their safety was threatened, amidst many years of religious strife and political turmoil in Iraq. It took three years for Umniyah’s family to obtain refugee status and move the United States. Her cousins had fled to Egypt earlier, when they were forced out of their home one night in 2008 during an Al-Qaeda attack. From Egypt, they were able to apply for refugee status and were resettled in Dallas, Texas. Umniyah’s family was also able to eventually relocate...



Roshie was just 18 months old when she moved from Iran to England with her family, so that her father could pursue his doctoral degree. In the midst of her formative years in England, the Shah of Iran was overthrown and her homeland was tumultuous with revolution. Following the Iranian Revolution of 1979, new government policies led to the systematic persecution of non-Muslim religious minorities. As a result, many Iranians were tortured and imprisoned. Thousands lost their jobs, their rights to assemble and worship, access to education, and many...

Anita, Phul Maya & Sunita

Anita, Phul Maya and Sunita

Thousands of miles away from their former home in Nepal, three Dallas teens have bonded over the memories of a childhood they were forced to leave.  Anita, Phul Maya, and Sunita have formed a friendship since their families relocated to Dallas about five years ago. Originally from Bhutan, these young women and their families practice Hinduism. Due to religious tension between the Buddhist and Hindu communities, economic unrest forced many out of work. Finding it nearly impossible to make a living, these women’s families had to leave...