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...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Asylum in Europe

If the colonial powers had stayed home, much of the turmoil in the world would be less. Many come illegally to Europe, esp. England to escape persecution & torture.

Persecution for
  • religious beliefs (only a couple types of Christianity allowed in Eritrea for example),
  • one's father was in the opposition political party (Ethiopia)
  • mistakenly joining a quiet walk of protest (Iran)
  • terrible turmoil in Iraq - thanks, George, Dick, and Don.
  • having ~Russian parents while living in a former ~Soviet Republic (Estonia)
  • not wanting to follow the party line in business - Cuba

These are just a few of the many.

IF you get asylum just wait around doing nothing for about 10-14 years.

IF you made the mistake of going to another European country 1st - you're sent back to the 1st country. Italy & Greece have terrible records when it comes to helping - basically not. Land in an Italian prison & you'll be subjected to beatings from other prisoners.

I can only imagine what must go through the minds of asylum seekers as they ride a bus past Mayfair seeing locals enjoying expensive clothing, cars etc. Buying a team jersey for $100 or paying lots to attend one game. Them that have often keep; those with little often share - quite a world.

In about an hour, I begin a series of meets get a better handle on the cumbersome process here in the U.K.

Please pray daily for these fine people.

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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.