City of Thorns: Nine Lives in the World's Largest Refugee Camp

Situated in the Kenyan desert, Dadaab is a sprawling, inhospitable refugee camp created to house 90,000 in 1992. Most of its inhabitants are refugees from the Somalian civil war, and the number of residents now is estimated to be near 500,000. Author Rawlence conducted hundreds of interviews over the course of four years, focusing especially on nine residents. These include Guled, an orphaned teenager who was forced to join the terrorist group al-Shabaab in Mogadishu before escaping to Dadaab; Kheyro, a young woman born in Dadaab who is trying to win a scholarship that will take her to Canada; and Monday and Muna, a young couple of different ethnic and religious backgrounds whose lives are in danger because of strong taboos against intermarriage. Using his subjects’ lives, the author illustrates the hardships of living in limbo without much hope for the future. He places his stories in the context of Kenyan, Somali, and international politics. Poverty, malnourishment, corruption, and crime are rampant in Dadaab, and the camp’s environment is more like a prison than a safe haven. This revealing, well written book illustrates a heartbreaking humanitarian crisis that deserves a great deal more international attention and action. 

City of thorns : nine lives in the world's largest refugee campBy Rawlence, Ben,

This book provides an intimate look at the lives of nine residents of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya.

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