Books Worth a Look

  • Little Bee by Chris Cleave - This book is a must read. Better than anything else I've read, it takes you vividly into the life of a person in the 3rd world who has no choice but to escape. It is brilliantly written & works well as an audio book. Often I've sent info about the wonderful refugees I've met in Europe. We know only so much of their plight as it is painful for them to recall much less live through again by recounting it. But over time it is clear what they've lived through. This book is excellent as you discover the horrors of their world. Somewhat how to me, it is like being in Europe near a Concentration Camp. One has an obligation to visit it. 'Never to Forget.' In this case, to have our eyes opened.
  • Garbage King by Eliz Laird - The book is set on the streets on Addis Ababa, in Ethiopia and here lives Mamo and his sister Tiggist. When Mamo's "uncle" offers a job, he soon sets out on a bus to work. Little does he know that he is actually being sold into slavery...

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Jeanette Noel Huis - Catholic Worker - Amsterdam

I arrived here late in the day. After night prayer, I sat and talked for 90 minutes with my friend from Afghanistan, Hadir. 10 years + ago Hadir's father kept receiving pressure for his sons to join the local army to fight the Northern Alliance (considered too close to Russia). Eventually his two older bothers disappeared. Fearing that Hadir would be taken, his father paid a large sum of money to get him out of Afghanistan. Cross Asia into Europe, the travel agent left him stranded at 15 in Schipol, Amsterdam's airport.

Now 26, he lost most of his youth trying to find help and eventually himself. He just received his asylum papers after 10 years and is in the University studying International Business Management. in addition to his native language, he is fluent in both Dutch and English. He has no idea where his family is; He hopes they may be in one of the camps in Pakistan.

Habib has exam all week. We will go to lunch together on Friday. He is a friend with whom you can enjoy talking about many subjects.

As he has experience, many humans can be cruel and greedy. Fortunately many others are compassionate.

Imagine losing 10-15 years of your life: while waiting for asylum decision, you may not work, go to school, even a Community College. As he relayed to me, you sleep get up, sit, eat and go to bed. Many become lost in the 10 years to mental instability or drugs. Mercifully he kept himself together. often cold & hungry on the streets avoided by passersbys.

War rarely settles anything; mostly it causes immesureable harm.

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Thoughts on the amazing people I get to meet.

Rich, my 19 year old friend, soon to be Franciscan and recent community member at Haley House in Boston. An article he wrote.