The Lost Boys of Sudan
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FORMER PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER:
The journey of the Lost Boys of Sudan is both heartbreaking and inspiring. It speaks to the strength of the human spirit to survive and grow under even the most abject circumstances. Their plight eloquently shows us the terrible consequences for children of war, and their personal triumphs over adversity symbolize a great hope for Africa and the global community.
GEORGE RUPP, PRESIDENT OF THE INTERNATIONAL RESCUE COMMITTEE:
Mark Bixler has written a compelling story about four courageous and persistent young men who overcame enormous adversity before arriving in the United States. As a former college president, I am especially taken by the Lost Boys' intense desire to gain a college education and by the personal sacrifices they are willing to make to achieve their goal. As the head of an organization whose mission is to serve refugees around the world and in the United States, I find The Lost Boys of Sudan to be an excellent introduction to a remarkable group of newcomers to this nation of immigrants and refugees.
DEBORAH SCROGGINS, AUTHOR OF EMMA'S WAR: AN AID WORKER, A WARLORD, RADICAL ISLAM AND THE POLITICS OF OIL -- A TRUE STORY OF LOVE AND DEATH IN SUDAN
In this moving tale of the two years in the life of four so-called "Lost Boys" resettled from Sudan in Atlanta, Georgia, Mark Bixler brings the story of the American dream screeching up to the minute. The four young men are not your typical refugees. They arrive in Atlanta after a childhood separated from their parents and spent wandering through the charnel house of Sudan's civil war. They have dodged bullets and been hunted by hyenas; they know nothing of flush toilets, air-conditioners or automobiles. But they have a dream: to get an education. Suburban Atlanta holds many obstacles and disappointments for them, but by the end of the book, they have all found a place for themselves in America and several are well on the way to realizing their goals. Without sentimentalizing their journey, Bixler has written a book that is sometimes sad, sometimes funny, but most of all deeply inspiring.
DONALD PETTERSON, FORMER U.S. AMBASSADOR TO SUDAN AND AUTHOR OF INSIDE SUDAN: POLITICAL ISLAM, CONFLICT AND CATASTROPHE
Mark Bixler has written a compelling account of the extraordinary hardships the Lost Boys underwent in Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya and the at times wrenching difficulties they encountered after coming to the United States. In addition to chronicling the experiences of several of those boys, Bixler provides essential background about the civil war that led to the uprooting of millions of southern Sudanese and about the genesis and evolution of US policy toward refugees who are victims of persecution. The Lost Boys of Sudan should appeal not only to readers drawn to the dramatic story that unfolds in its pages, but also to US government officials and private organizations involved in refugee resettlement who want to improve their programs.
ROGER WINTER, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF THE U.S. COMMITTEE FOR REFUGEES FROM 1981 TO 2001
Mark Bixler's fascinating narrativefollows young men coming of age as they
navigate from a past that saw the slaughter of their families, the
destruction of their communities, their flight to years of temporary
asylum, their childhood denuded of adult assistance and supervision, in at
best a fourth world environment to, suddenly, the most complex and
competitive society on earth. They are from Sudan and are now among
America's newest residents. Bixler tells their story in very personal
detail which nevertheless plumbs the strategic limits of American society;
the rescue and resettlement of individual refugees such as these is tied
to the principled oversoul of America. These young men will succeed here;
as they do, we succeed too.
MARY PIPHER, AUTHOR OF THE MIDDLE OF EVERYWHERE: THE WORLD'S REFUGEES COME TO OUR TOWN
Mark Bixler shows what the refugee experience is like for tribal, traditional and traumatized people as they crash into modern America. While there are quite a few books on the Sudanese in America, this is the one that connects personal stories to history, foreign policy and public policy. It's erudite and readable, a rare combination.
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