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WATCH: Refugees From Around the World Share Their Stories

The night Felix Madgi became a refugee, rebel soldiers stormed his family’s village in the Central African Republic and burned it to the ground. He sprinted into the jungle and ran for his life.

The day Amela Soteli became a refugee, she and her family were relaxing outside when bombs rained down on their neighborhood in Bosnia. Life as they knew it was gone in a heartbeat.

The day Emad Mageed became a refugee, armed thugs stopped his car and attempted to kidnap him. He stepped on the gas, dodging bullets as he drove, and sped home, determined to get his family out of Iraq.

refugee_content_pic.jpgLeft to Right: Felix, Amela, and Emad.

Almost 60 million people in the world today are refugees or otherwise displaced due to war, unrest, and poverty. That’s a staggering number, so much so that it’s easy to lose sight of the everyday people—friends and neighbors, moms and dads, human beings—who make up that record wave of displacement. People like Felix, Emad, and Amela.

Most have experienced hardships the rest of us can’t fathom. But the world’s displaced people are not defined by suffering alone. Their journeys are marked by triumphs as well as trials—from mastering a new language, to finding a job, to sending their kids back to school.

60 million displaced people. Every single one has a story to tell.

Global Citizen recently traveled to Buffalo, NY, a refugee resettlement hub, to meet refugees from more than 10 countries. Some are recent arrivals. Others have been in the US for years. All are determined to rebuild their lives and give back to their new communities. Together, their stories form an intimate portrait of what it means to be a refugee.

War and unrest tore them from their homes. This is the story of how they bounced back.