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Human Cargo : A Journey among Refugees

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Human Cargo : A Journey among Refugees by Caroline Moorehead, 9780805074437
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  • ISBN: 9780805074437 | 0805074430
  • Cover: Trade Book
  • Copyright: 3/3/2005
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An arresting portrait of the lives of today's refugees and a searching look into their future The word refugee is more often used to invoke a problem than it is to describe a population of millions of people forced to abandon their homes, possessions, and families in order to find a place where they may, quite literally, be allowed to live. In spite of the fact that refugees surround us-the latest UN estimates suggest that 20 million of the world's 6.3 billion people are refugees-few can grasp the scale of their presence or the implications of their growing numbers. Caroline Moorehead has traveled for nearly two years and across four continents to bring us their unforgettable stories. In prose that is at once affecting and informative, we are introduced to the men, women, and children she meets as she travels to Cairo, Guinea, Sicily, the U.S./Mexico border, Lebanon, England, Australia, and Finland. She explains how she came to work and for a time live among refugees, and why she could not escape the pressing need to understand and describe the chain of often terrifying events that mark their lives.Human Cargois a work of deep and subtle sympathy that completely alters our understanding of what it means to have and lose a place in the world. Caroline Moorehead, a distinguished biographer, has served as a columnist on human rights forThe Times(London) andThe Independent(London). More recently, she has worked directly with African refugees in Cairo as a founder of a legal advice office in addition to raising funds for a range of educational projects. She is the author ofGellhornand lives in London. A National Book Critics Circle Award Nominee InHuman Cargo, Caroline Moorehead takes readers on a journey to understand why millions of people are forced to abandon their homes, possessions, and families in order to fins a place where they may, quite literally, be allowed to live. In spite of the fact that refugees surround usrecent UN estimates suggest that their numbers approach 20 millionfew grasp the scale of their presence. Moorehead's experience living and working with refugees puts a human face on the news, providing indelible portraits of not only refugees but also the countries from which they fled, as well as those that host them, the men and women who help them, and, finally, those who have not. Moorehead has traveled for nearly two years and across four continents to bring us these unforgettable stories. In prose that is at once affecting and informative, she introduces us to the men, women, and children she meets as she travels to Cairo, Guinea, Sicily, the U.S.-Mexico border, Lebanon, England, Australia, and Finland. Among others, we learn about Salaam, an Iraqi Catholic persecuted by Saddam Hussein's regime, and his struggle to reach San Diego through Mexico with his sister; and Mary, a fifty-year-old American who works with the International Rescue Committee in Guinea to provide schooling for refugees from Iran who escaped a Tehran prison to establish a trauma center in England for victims of torture. Moorehead vividly illustrates why the "problem" of 20 million people stuck in limbounable to work, educate their children, or otherwise contribute to societyis on a par with global crises such as terrorism and world hunger.Human Cargois a work of deep and subtle sympathy that completely alters our understanding of what it means to have and lose a place in the world. "One of the most moving and illuminating accounts of people out of place. In documenting the complexity of their condition, [Moorehead] deciphers their full humanity. And she captures the workings of the refugee system through the people who work in it and navigate constraints on budgets and quotas, and their tempers."&a

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