With welcome and support, refugees go on to thrive and contribute to their new countries in many different ways. From artists, actors and politicians, do you know which of these famous people are refugees? 

Which famous physicist called for the founding of the IRC?
  • Stephen Hawking
  • Albert Einstein
  • Carl Sagan
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer
Albert Einstein, founder of the International Rescue Committee

The physicist Albert Einstein arrived in America in 1933 after he and thousands of other Jews fled persecution in Nazi Germany. That year, the Nobel laureate and humanitarian called for the founding of the aid organisation that was to become the International Rescue Committee.


Which refugee singer and songwriter made headlines for her self-directed music video, “Borders?”
  • M.I.A
  • Billie Eilish
  • Madonna
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

Rapper and activist M.I.A. (Mathangi Arulpragasam) was just nine years old when she fled war-torn Sri Lanka with her family and settled in England. Those experiences inform her music and art, which draw attention to the struggles of refugees and immigrants. 


Which two time academy award winning actresses' parents came to the UK as child refugees before WWII?
  • Keira Knightly
  • Meryl Streep
  • Rachel Weisz
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer
Rachel Weisz

Both of Rachel Weisz parents were Jewish refugees who fled Nazi-occupied Austria and Hungary just before WWII. She grew up in North London, her father an engineer and her mother a psychotherapist. Later Weisz went on to win multiple awards for a number of movie roles, including two academy awards for Best Supporting Actress.

Which fictional famous superhero was a refugee?
  • Spiderman
  • Superman
  • Wonder Woman
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer

Rocketed to Earth from the dying planet Krypton, baby Kal-El was found by a Kansas couple who named the boy Clark Kent and raised him as their own. Discovering his enormous powers, they instilled in him strong moral values—and inspired him to become a hero.


Which British pop star’s family was forced to flee conflict in Kosovo with her family when she was just a baby?
  • Rita Ora
  • Dua Lipa
  • Adele
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer
Rita Ora

Rita Ora’s family moved to Notting Hill in West London when she was just a baby, in 1991. The family fled Kosovo for political reasons. Rita Ora went on to become a singer-songwriter with four number one singers in the UK music charts.


Which famous neurologist fled to London to escape Nazi persecution during WWII?
  • Sam Sheppard
  • Sigmund Freud
  • Wilder Penfield
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer
Sigmund Freud

Austrian neurologist Sigmund Freud escaped the Nazis in 1938. He spent the final year of his life in exile in Hampstead, London and died in 1939 at age 83. Sigmund Freud is most known as the founder of psychoanalysis. While his theories are generally no longer accepted as science, he strongly influenced how many of us think about our place in the world.

Which refugee was the lead singer of one of the most famous rock bands of the 1970s?
  • Freddie Mercury
  • Stevie Nicks
  • Robert Plant
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer
Freddie Mercury

As the frontman of the rock band Queen, Freddie Mercury (Farrokh Bulsara) is known as one of the most innovative and accomplished musicians of all time. Freddie was born in the British protectorate of Zanzibar, now part of Tanzania. In 1964, his family left for England to escape the violence of the Zanzibar Revolution against the island’s Arab and Indian minorities. The family resettled in Middlesex when Freddie was 17 years old. Six years later, he befriended his future Queen bandmates, drummer Roger Taylor and guitarist Brian May. 

Which British department store was founded by a refugee?
  • Marks and Spencer
  • Debenhams
  • House of Fraser
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer
Marks and Spencers

Co-founder of one of the largest retail clothing and food companies in the UK, Michael Marks, was a Jewish refugee from Poland. Marks fled to the UK In 1882 to escape persecution, later settling in Leeds, Yorkshire. In 1984, Thomas Spencer became Michael’s business partner, with their company later becoming known as Marks and Spencers.


Which actor, famous for his appearances in martial arts and action movies, was the son of refugees?
  • Jean-Claude van Damme
  • Bruce Lee
  • Jackie Chan
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer
Jackie Chan

Jackie Chan was born in Hong Kong to Charles and Lee-Lee Chan, refugees from the Chinese Civil War. The family later moved to Australia but Jackie Chan was sent back to Hong Kong for school, beginning his career as an actor as a child in the 1960s. He later went on to play the starring role in many kung fu films and action movies.

Which former British politician, now President and CEO of the International Rescue Committee, was born to refugee parents who fled Nazi persecution in WWII?
  • Keir Stamer
  • David Miliband
  • Alister Cambell
Correct Answer
Incorrect Answer
David Miliband, CEO of the International Rescue Committee

David Miliband is the president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee where he oversees the agency's humanitarian relief operations in more than 40 war-affected countries. Miliband’s parents fled to Britain from continental Europe during World War II. As the son of refugees, he brings a personal commitment to the IRC's work. He lives in New York City with his wife, violinist Louise Shackelton, and their two sons.