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Tuesday, 20 January 2015

Somali Refugees; Kharaz Refugee Camp



From Al Jazeera

"Fleeing from civil war since 1991, Somalis are confronted by poverty and abuse as they seek refuge in Yemen".

"In this film, we hear the stories of refugees at Kharaz refugee camp and others in Sanaa trying to start a new life in the city. We speak to the aid agencies and officials; and we track down and confront the human smugglers who kidnap and abuse the vulnerability of refugees whose families can face ransom demands".

I am reminded of some verses from W H Auden's Refugee Blues:


The consul banged the table and said:
'If you've got no passport, you're officially dead';
But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive.

Went to a committee; they offered me a chair;
Asked me politely to return next year:
But where shall we go today, my dear, but where shall we go today?

Came to a public meeting; the speaker got up and said:
'If we let them in, they will steal our daily bread';
He was talking of you and me, my dear, he was talking of you and me...

Went down the harbour and stood upon the quay,
Saw the fish swimming as if they were free:
Only ten feet away, my dear, only ten feet away.

Walked through a wood, saw the birds in the trees;
They had no politicians and sang at their ease:
They weren't the human race, my dear, they weren't the human race.

Dreamed I saw a building with a thousand floors,
A thousand windows and a thousand doors;
Not one of them was ours, my dear, not one of them was ours.




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