Fifth graders recently read the graphic novel When Stars are Scattered — which tells the true story of a young boy who fled his home in Somalia in the early 1990s when civil war broke out and walked for weeks to get to a refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya. The story inspired them to write a newspaper report of his tale. Below is the third of three submissions:
By Henry Ellis
Omar Mohamed was forced to flee his home country of Somalia by a raging civil war. He and his brother, Hassan, were settled at a refugee camp in Kenya and cared for by an old woman named Fatuma. They were there for fifteen long years until they were lucky enough to be resettled in Tucson, Arizona.
Life is hard at a refugee camp, and Omar was faced with many challenges in his time at one. The first was keeping himself and Hassan safe, which was hard with so many hungry and desperate people and there almost never being enough food. He faced these by being careful to stay with Hassan and rationing what little food they had. Another challenge was juggling school with staying to be with Hassan with being with friends as well as meeting with the UN to maybe be resettled. “It’s like a prison here,” Omar says. This shows just how hard life is for refugees. Overall, Omar is a role model for being resilient and hopeful enough to get through a refugee camp.
Persistence will always help you get through hard times. This was one of many things Omar showed at the camp. Omar showed persistence in many instances but the one that stood out to me was meeting with the UN. He met with them tons of times and had to fill out so much work to even be considered to be resettled. Another lesson we can learn is that true friends will always be there for you. For Omar it was Jeri that helped him through all the work and school as well. Omar is truly amazing and has a very inspiring story.
As you probably know by now, Omar and Hassan Mohamed have been through a lot. Their father was killed, they were separated from their mother, were forced to flee Somalia, had to live at a refugee camp, and then had to adjust to life in America when they were resettled. During this time, Omar showed that courage, persistence, friendship, and many other of his traits will help in hard times.
Maryam Farah, one of Omars friends at the camp, once wrote, “Those who are lost look to the stars to lead them home. The flag of Somalia, our home, has one star, one background. But we are not one star. We are millions. Not one, but millions.” This shows how many others have had the same experiences as Omar, and how people are better united as one then forced to stand alone. Omar proved to everyone that if you set your mind on something, believe in yourself, and never give up, you can do anything.