Forced to leave their homelands due to war, persecution, or other danger outside of their control, refugees face a double challenge. Not only do they have to deal with the trauma of whatever they've seen or experienced that forces them to flee, but they also have to figure out how to make a new home in an unfamiliar land.

So when a country opens its arms and welcomes refugees with kindness and enthusiasm, it can mean the world. And for at least one refugee family, the Canadian province of Newfoundland has exemplified what that looks like.

Canadian journalist Muhammad Lila shared a story on Twitter that has thousands of people cheering for our neighbors to the north.

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Tim Mossholder/Unsplash, Bill Frelick/Twitter

At 22 and 24, Mohammad and Hasti Amini are in the prime of their young adult lives—a time when those who haven't been forced to flee deadly conflict are launching careers and making plans for the future. The Aminis escaped from Afghanistan to Indonesia with their mother and two other siblings five years ago, after their oldest brother was killed by the Taliban and their grief-stricken father died of a heart attack.

Now, they are stuck in a country where they have no legal status or protections. They can't legally work, can't get a degree—they can't even open a bank account. Since Indonesia is not a signatory to the 1951 Refugee Convention, it is under no obligation to care for refugees. The Aminis had only planned to stop briefly in Jakarta on their way to a safe third country that resettles refugees. But for five years, their hopes have been dashed again and again, as wealthy nations like the U.S. and Australia continue to severely limit the number of refugees they will welcome.

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I'm sitting in an outdoor eating area in Jakarta, sweat dripping down the back of my sundress, gazing at the young Muslim woman across the table from me. It's a thousand degrees and humid, and I can't figure out how she can look so comfortable in her black hijab and long sleeves.

The physical contrast between us feels emblematic, as does the table that separates us. It may as well be an ocean. Neither of us belongs in Indonesia, yet here we are—me as a middle-class American on an overseas work trip, her as an Afghani refugee trapped in a country that has no place for her.

I'm keenly aware that neither of us has chosen these identities, that it's merely the happenstance of our births that has placed us where we are. My obvious privilege hovers over us like a disco ball, but neither of us mentions it.

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They wanted to make a statement about separating families. The message is clear.

The Trump administration's family separation policy has stirred unity and outrage over protecting the most vulnerable among us.

Not everyone was moved by images and stories of families torn apart. Some have even cited the Bible to justify the policy. A church in Indianapolis decided to make a statement by putting figures of Joseph, Mary, and baby Jesus inside a cage as part of their #EveryFamilyIsHoly campaign.

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