Dadaab

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30 Sep 2013 10:00

Can a shelter become a prison? "We cannot leave the camp neither go back to our country nor prosper". At the same time, can a shelter become homeland? "In this place I grow myself, I studied, worked and became father. I feel home". This is a contradiction faced by refugees of the largest camp worldwide, Dadaab, in north-eastern Kenya.

Somalia Refugees Civil War Human Rights Kenya Dadaab War Horn On Africa Un Documentary Contrast

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Dadaab
Dadaab
By carloscastro
30 Nov 2009

Can a shelter become a prison? "We cannot leave the camp neither go back to our country nor prosper". At the same time, can a shelter become homeland? "In this place I grow myself, I studied, worked and became father. I feel home". This is a contradiction faced by refugees of the largest camp worldwide, Dadaab, in north-eastern Kenya.
This is the case of Omar, Hassan and Mohamed, three Somalian young men who arrived to Dadaab in 1991, when the war started in Somalia and the camp was created. Their memories of their previous lives are reduced to some blurry images. In these two decades, they have become part of an incipient middle class, but despite that, their aim is to get one of the prized visas to start a new life in another country.
While they think on leaving, 6.000 people arrive every month from Somalia. N-0 is one of the areas where new arrivals are settled and Mohamed AlĂ­ is its leader. For them, the camp means safety, but restarting life there is difficult either.
A few of them leave; a lot arrive; all of them "hoping the best but prepared for the worst".