Greens Farms Academy is a PreK-12, coed school in Westport, CT

The Bravery of a Refugee

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 first of three submissions:

By Cece Barry

Omar Mohamed was a refugee from Somalia who finally got resettled to Tucson, Arizona in America. After 15 years in Dadaab, a refugee camp in Kenya, Omar’s dream was finally fulfilled. Omar was very young when he came to Dadaab. He was sent away to the refugee camp because Somalia was invaded and he had nowhere else to go.

Although Omar suffered many hardships over the years, he was very brave through it all. “For indeed, with hardships will be ease, with hardships will be ease.” Omar read this from the Quran, which is the holy book for Muslims, and it helped him feel peaceful and calm in his crazy life. This quote really speaks to what is happening with Omar and his brother Hassan and all of the other refugees in the world.

When Omar was very young, Somalia was invaded and during the invasion, his father got shot and died. Omar and his brother were told to go over to his neighbor's house and that his Mom would be right behind him. Omar's mom went missing and they did not reunite until Omar was an adult. Omar and his brother had to walk for weeks and weeks to a refugee camp in Kenya, and along the way, many people died including his neighbor. Omar had to try and figure out a way to put his life back together while also having to take care of his younger brother Hassan. Hassan did not talk. He only ever said “Hooyo” which translates to mama.

After the hardest 15 years of his life, Omar was sent to America. A while after he moved, Omar found his mom and saw her for the first time since he was a toddler. His mom had to be in a refugee camp still, but eventually, Omar worked things out and she came to live with him.

Something that shows a lot in Omar’s life is bravery. Omar had to be brave, even when it gets hard, and when you are in a refugee camp or trekking across the desert for weeks just to get to the refugee camp, it's not exactly easy being strong and brave. Omar tried his best every day to make everything seem okay and not as bad for his little brother. He would play games and try and have fun to distract his brother from all of the scariness. All of the people in the camp were extremely brave, whether it was being brave during kids stealing all of your clothes, or in a lot of cases, just trying to keep on believing and not giving up on your dreams.

Omar Mohamed was someone who lived a very difficult life, but he still managed to succeed in life and follow his dreams. Omar went to school and worked very hard so that if he happened to get resettled he could get a job, and he did. Omar did what most people could not. He believed. Omar believed not only in himself, but in his friends, family, and everyone else too. Omar recognized the fact that everyone had their own story to tell, their own struggles, and how they made it through. Even in rough times, Omar cared about others instead of just thinking of himself. As Omar’s good friend, Maryam Farah, once said, “But we are not one star. We are millions. Not one background, but millions.”