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Of Beetles and Angels by Mawi Asgedom

Of Beetles and Angels by Mawi Asgedom

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Of Beetles and Angels by Mawi Asgedom

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  1. Of Beetles and Angelsby Mawi Asgedom Background to his memoir…

  2. Mawi was born on September 29, 1976 in Adi Wahla, Ethiopia. This is a small town on the border of Eritrea and Sudan.

  3. In 1980 his family was “relocated” to a refugee camp in Sudan.

  4. Fighting between Ethiopian soldiers and Eritrean guerillas forced many families into Sudanese refugee camps.

  5. "And the way you do it is that you just pack your stuff up and if you are lucky to have some camels and mules, and maybe some donkeys, you ride on them." He fled the fighting in Ethiopia with his family when he was three years old.

  6. Sudan is host to many refugee caps because of its size and location.

  7. For the next three years, 1980-1983, the Umsagata refugee camp in Sudan became his family's home.

  8. “The refugee camp was in Umsagata, Sudan. I don’t know if it would come up on any map. Another name it’s known by is Semsem.”

  9. Refugee Camp Statistics: • 100% said they had been captured by government troops and forced to resettle. • 10% reported that they witnessed people being killed who tried to escape. • More than 40% said they were beaten. • More than 70% were separated from all members of their immediate family.

  10. According to Mawi “It was safe to assume that 25 percent--or 125,000--of the settlers had died.”

  11. By mid 1980, the refugee crisis in the Horn of Africa was the world’s worst. • 2.5 million people abandoned their homes and sought asylum in neighboring countries.

  12. Causes of the Refugee Crises: • Mengistu Regime killed thousands while fighting Eritrean insurgents • Famine -- by 1973, famine had killed 300,000 • Drought -- In 1987, drought threatened 5 million

  13. More than 1 million Ethiopian Refugees relocated to Sudan, Somalia, and Djibouti in the 1980s.

  14. Life in a Refugee Camp: • Absence of sanitation • Inadequate medical assistance • Food shortages • Lack of clean water • Disease • Overcrowding

  15. Mawi's family came to the U.S on a World Relief ticket. World Relief sponsors refugees from different countries to America. http://www.wr.org/whatwedo/refugeecare.asp

  16. - Every year, World Relief helps up to 10,000 refugees fleeing persecution and war in their homelands. - Since 1979, World Relief has embraced over 200,000 refugees, welcoming them at the airport, helping them find jobs, and extending the hands of friendship.

  17. His family settled in Wheaton, IL. Wheaton is located 30 miles west of Chicago.

  18. Now you will read Of Beetles and Angels and learn more about Mawi’s experiences in America.