Today, June 20, marks World Refugee Day - a day dedicated to the millions who have been forced to leave their homelands to escape war, persecution, or natural disaster.
On this day, we commemorate the strength, courage, and perseverance of the 65.6 million refugees forcibly displaced around the world. We remember those who are being denied basic human rights, such as education, healthcare and freedom of movement, and those who are resorting to unthinkable means to make ends meet.
We also pay tribute to those who managed to rise above it all, overcome the challenges, and become an inspiration to us all.
Here are 5 Arabs who found success despite their refugee status:
1. Muzoon Almellehan, UN Goodwill Ambassador (Syria)
Muzoon Almellehan recently made history by becoming the first-ever United Nations Goodwill Ambassador with official refugee status.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) announced on Monday that the 19-year-old education activist has become its youngest goodwill envoy.
Dubbed the "Malala of Syria" in reference to Pakistani activist for female education Malala Yousafzai, Almellehan fled Syria with her family in 2013 and lived as a refugee in Jordan for three years. There, she began advocating for children's right to access education, particularly for girls. She was then resettled in the United Kingdom, where she continued her activism.
Having received support from UNICEF, Muzoon has been helping the humanitarian program and working to shed light on the challenges children affected by conflict face in accessing education.
2. Yusra Mardini, Olympic swimmer (Syria)
Yusra Mardini has made waves - literally and figuratively - around the world ever since she made it to the first-ever Refugee Olympic Team last summer.
Mardini won people's hearts after her story went viral, having saved some 20 people off the Turkish coast. Mardini fled war-torn Syria and earned hero status on her way to Greece after helping push a jam-packed boat for three hours.
She then moved to Germany, where she pursued her passion for swimming. She was chosen to join the Refugee Olympic Team for the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
Mardini has been a voice for young refugees around the world, having spoken out about the struggles and prejudices refugees face on a daily basis.
"For me, I want to help change people's perceptions of what a refugee is. For everyone to understand it is not a choice to flee from your home, and that refugees are normal people who can achieve great things if given the opportunity," Mardini said at the Leader Summit for Refugees last year.
In recognition of her efforts, she received "The Girl Award" from internationally renowned singer/songwriter and UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, Angelique Kidjo. She was also listed among the "25 women changing the world" by PEOPLE Magazine.
3. Rami Anis, Olympic swimmer (Syria)
Alongside Yusra Mardini in the Refugee Olympic Team was her compatriot Rami Anis, a professional swimmer based in Belgium.
Anis took up swimming at the age of 14. Since then, the swimming pool has become his home. "Swimming is my life," Rami said, according to UNHCR. "The swimming pool is my home."
He fled to Turkey in 2011. Deciding that he could not fulfill his swimming potentials there, Anis left Turkey aboard an inflatable dinghy and made his way across to the Greek island of Samos. In 2015, he reached Belgium and was granted asylum.
At the Rio Olympics, Anis recorded a personal best of 54.25 seconds in the heats of the 100-meter freestyle.
4. Iman Mohamed Abdulmajid, Model (Somalia)
Better known by her first name, Iman went from being a refugee student to becoming one of the most famous models in the world, earning up to $20,000 a day.
The prominent model and multimillionaire businesswoman had fled to Kenya with her family, launching a career in modeling after being discovered by renowned photographer Peter Beard.
"Refugees are 99 percent of the time people who have left their countries in fear of their lives. I am the face of the refugee," she once said.
5. Firas Elshater, Actor/Vlogger/Filmmaker (Syria)
Firas Elshater has come a long way since being jailed and tortured for filming protests in Syria.
After studying acting in Damascus, Elshater decided he would not return to his homeland and applied for asylum in Germany.
Since then, he has started a YouTube channel and became a social media star.
He is known for the viral video of his social experiment, in which he is seen standing in Berlin blindfolded, with a sign that reads, "I am a Syrian refugee. I trust you – do you trust me? Hug me!".
He is also known for sharing his experience as a refugee in Germany using humor. "Humour makes it easier to touch people's hearts. That is what I want to do," he says.