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Sisters' Entrance

USA for UNHCR is excited to feature Sisters’ Entrance, written by world champion poet and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador Emi Mahmoud. Sisters’ Entrance is a riveting collection of poetry that illustrates Emi’s experience with conflict, displacement and coming of age.  

Dear Refugee Allies, 


Right now, my home country of Sudan is experiencing unimaginable conflict resulting in mass displacement.  

My family and I were forced to flee Sudan and seek safety in Yemen during my first year of life. In 1998, everything changed yet again, and my family and I moved to the US by visa lottery. While starting a new chapter of my life there, I wrote Sisters’ Entrance in 2018. This collection of poetry explores the complex emotions associated with conflict and war. In this book, I draw from my experience with loss, survivors’ guilt, racism and Islamophobia. I also tell my coming-of-age story and how community and sisterhood helped me to overcome.   

I use poetry and spoken word to tell my story. I know first-hand that refugees face so much loss, trauma and hardship when we are forced to flee, and it is important to share our experiences with the world to inspire change. Ensuring this most basic protection is at the heart of UNHCR’s work and why I am honored to work with UNHCR as a Goodwill Ambassador. 

I am very proud of this poetry collection and excited for you to read it and learn not only about the difficult and dangerous experiences refugees face but also the love, bravery and community needed to make it through. It is the need for the creation of safe spaces and community that encourages me to uplift and our communities everywhere. 

Please read Sisters’ Entrance and check out all the ways below that you can get more involved with supporting and championing refugees through USA for UNHCR’s Culture Collective. 


With gratitude, 

Emi Mahmoud  

Sisters' Entrance

Brimming with rage, sorrow and resilience, Sisters’ Entrance is Emi Mahmoud’s debut poetry collection that explores difficult feelings associated with experiencing genocide, diaspora, racism and Islamophobia. Heart-wrenching and raw, defiant and empowering, Sisters’ Entrance explores how to speak the unspeakable.

Di Baladna

Emi Mahmoud wrote the poem Di Baladna, which means “our land in Arabic, following a series of discussions with refugees living on the front lines of the climate crisis in Bangladesh, Cameroon and Jordan.

Take Action

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Learn More

Sudan has been grappling with conflict and mass displacement since the start of the Darfur crisis in 2003. The recent conflict that began in April 2023 has forcibly displaced nearly 8 million people across Sudan and into neighboring countries. Watch USA for UNHCR’s Sudan explainer video to learn more about this crisis. 

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View an Art Collection

The Imago Mundi Collection presents Sudan Aesthetic Vestiges. This virtual art collection features the work of contemporary artists from Sudan who combine elements of Islamic and African culture, as well as reflections of ancient Nubia and Western influences, to create a rich combination of different expressions

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Sponsor a Refugee

Through Welcome Corps, Americans can apply to sponsor a refugee or refugee family from overseas and welcome them to your community by helping them to find and prepare housing, secure employment and enroll children in school. Learn more about how you can sponsor a refugee to come to the U.S.

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Sign an Advocacy Petition

With more than 114 million people globally forced to flee their homes because of war, violence or persecution – including millions from Sudan we must act in solidarity and welcome people seeking safety from conflict. Sign our petition if you believe that seeking safety is a fundamental human right.

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Explore Sudan's Pyramids

Meroë is the ancient capital of the Kushite Kingdom, located in Sudan’s Nile Valley. The city is marked by more than 200 unique Nubian pyramids. Explore the ancient pyramids of Meroë.

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Watch a Slam Poetry Performance

UNHCR, in collaboration with the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, presents Emi MahmoudSudanese American slam poet, humanitarian advocate and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. Emi brings a message of hope, solidarity and compassion for refugees everywhere.  

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Shop Refugee-Made Products

MADE51 creates opportunities for refugees to earn income through dignified work that makes use of their valuable skills, traditions and heritage. Crafted by a multicultural group of refugees from Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Syria, each handmade scarf reflects a personal artisan story and skill.

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Meet a Sudanese American Chef

Azhar Ahmed is a Sudanese American chef who works at Sanctuary Kitchen, an organization that partners with refugee and immigrant chefs to build economic opportunity and intercultural understanding through food. Learn more about Azhar and her delicious recipes 

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Listen to Music

Abbas (Bas) Hamad is a Sudanese American rapper who is using music to process his feelings about the conflict in Sudan. Bas recently released his single, Khartoum, featuring Nigerian artist Adekunle Gold. The song highlights the ongoing war and the struggles of the Sudanese people.