Alek Wek

Famous Refugees

In honor of World Refugee Day, we take a look at some of the world's biggest names and find out caused them to flee their homes.

Alek Wek

Home country: Sudan
Career: Fashion model
These days, Alek Wek, 34, is one of the most sought models for runways and photo spreads in the fashion world. But when she was 14, Wek’s family fled southern Sudan for the U.K. to escape a brutal civil war.  Six years later, she became the first African model to grace the cover of this magazine.
She makes a line of designer handbags called "Wek 1933."
See which 2002 film she made her acting debut in.

Wyclef Jean

Home country: Haiti
Career: Musician 
Wyclef Jean’s refugee story inspired his music from the very beginning. He may have left when he was 9 years old, but his native Haiti is never far from his mind. The 41-year-old entertainer’s urgent tweets appealing for aid helped raise millions after 2010’s devastating earthquake. Watch him discuss fundraising efforts through his YĆ©le foundation. Wyclef even flirted with a Haitian presidential bid.