Situated hundreds of miles from any other settlement, in the midst of the inhospitable desert of Northern Kenya where only thorn bushes grow, Dadaab is a city like no other. Its buildings are made from mud, sticks or plastic; its entire economy is grey; and its citizens survive on rations and luck.
Over the course of four years, Ben Rawlence became a firsthand witness to this strange and desperate limbo land, getting to know many of those who have come there seeking sanctuary. Among them are Guled, a former child soldier who lives for football; Nisho, who scrapes an existence by pushing a wheelbarrow and dreaming of riches; Tawane, the indomitable youth leader; and schoolgirl Kheyro, whose future hangs upon her education.
In City of Thorns, Rawlence interweaves the stories of nine individuals to show what life is like in the camp and to sketch the wider political forces that keep the refugees trapped there.
Lucid, vivid and illuminating, City of Thorns is an urgent human story with deep international repercussions, brought to life through the people who call Dadaab home.
Regular price: £18.99
Buy Now with 1 Credit
Buy Now for £18.99
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Anthony on 23-12-17
Insights into tough refugee life
Insightful view of challenges facing refugees in Dadaab camp; home to over half a million people from central, eastern and Horn of Africa. Rawlence's book provides a way in to understanding day-to-day difficulties and offers the story behind a number of individuals resident in the camp.... how they got there, what they have done or have to do to survive, what and where they aspire to. Of value in understanding the human side to the complexities of forced migration and the roles of the many stakeholders operating in these environments.
By Ronan T Brennan on 20-03-17
A book which should be read by all in a post Trump world.
If you are debating whether to listen to this don't as it is a vital book.
Ben Rawlence has created a brilliant book which through recording the daily struggle of refugees in the world largest camp, should gives those of us lucky enough to live a relatively privileged life an insight into the lives of people who are regularly demonised in the press.
Clearly Ben has spent a great deal of time getting to know the people involved, and it feels as a very important piece of work.
However, it is not a depressing read as the continued resilience of people who go through so much ultimately provides a hopeful message, which should inspire us all.