The ongoing migrant crisis has started a debate across Europe, and indeed, the whole world, about assimilation of refugees into countries and cultures that are alien to them. This is not the first time it has happened though, and there are many famous people who fled their native land and found new meaning to their lives in an adopted country.

Tenzin Gyatso, better known as the Dalai Lama, head of the Tibetan buddhists, has been living in exile in India since 1959, after he was driven out from his homeland during the Tibetan uprising against China. He is revered by his followers as the reincarnation of the Boddhisatva. Winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, he spends his time traveling around the globe, promoting Buddhist practices, inter-faith dialogue and compassion as the source of a happy life.

Model, actress and entrepreneur, Iman fled to Kenya during the Somalian Revolution. Her family, she says, escaped with ‘only the clothes on their backs’. She later moved to US and married singer David Bowie. A pioneer in promoting ethnic cosmetics, Iman’s Global Ethnic Collection is a bestseller and she is ambassador for Save the Children, and spokesperson for the Keep a Child Alive program.

Sigmund Freud, ‘father of psychoanalysis’, fled Austria during World War II because of Nazi persecution. Freud formulated the theory of the Oedipus Complex, which is a basic tenet of psychoanalysis, as well as developing therapeutic techniques such as ‘free association’ and ‘transference’.

Winner of 7 Grammy awards and one of the world’s bestselling singers, Gloria Estefan, chose exile from native Cuba when Fidel Castro seized power. Her father was later imprisoned by the Cuban regime. Estefan started her career with the band ‘ Miami Latin Boys’. She’s one of the singers who has sold more than a 100 million records worldwide.

Albert Einstein , the most famous scientist in the world, escaped Nazi persecution in the 1930’s, leaving Germany to settle in the US. Einstein’s theory of relativity forms the basis of study and research in physics and it’s hard to imagine where scientific advancement would be without the pioneering work of this genius.