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Refugees are people - Freddie Mercury

Farrokh Bulsara – more famously known as #FreddieMercury, the front man of the #British#rockband#Queen – is undoubtedly one of the most famous #singers of our time. Freddie is well-known for his distinct vocal abilities, revolutionary performance, unique looks, his status of a #queer icon, his public support of the #LGBT-rights movement and much more. However, what isn’t as talked about is the fact that he too used to be a #refugee.

Freddie Mercury was born in #Zanzibar in 1946 to #Parsi#immigrants from #India, Bomi and Jer Bulsara. The Bulsaras moved to the island due to Bomi’s job as a cashier at the British Colonial Office. During that time, the island was a British protectorate.

Zanzibar gained #independence from The United Kingdom in 1963. Only a year later, a #revolution broke out, setting stage for a massacre that will eventually take between 8 000 and 17 000 lives.

The Zanzibar Revolution overthrew the island’s first #postcolonial regime in response to long withstanding social and economic inequities. Due to the fact that, at the time, the majority of the wealthy population of Zanzibar was comprised of the supporters of the predominantly #Arab#government and various people of South Asian descent, this revolution turned into the most lethal outbreak of anti-Arab and anti-Indian #violence in Africa’s postcolonial history.

The African insurgents #revolted against the Arabs and Indians, seeing them as remnants of either the colonial past or the Sultan of Zanzibar’s Arab-dominated government. This resulted in horrific acts of ethnically motivated mass lynching. Many innocent #Arabs and #Indians on the island were killed and thrown into mass graves, forced into exile, or reduced to poverty.

Due to the political unrest and the escalating threat of ethnically motivated violence, in 1964, Mercury’s family fled the country.

When Freddie was 17, him and his family arrived to Middlesex, England where they started a new life. Six years later he introduced himself to his future Queen bandmates. The rest is history.

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