Refugee Paper - Hill Jasmine Hill 3 October 2011 GEO 101...

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Hill Jasmine Hill 3 October 2011 GEO 101 Housel Somali Refugees in America Somalia is a country located on the Horn of Africa. The land is roughly smaller than the state of Texas, yet it is called home to somewhere near 9.8 million people (U.S. Department of State). The country has been entwined in a civil war since the fall of its dictator, Siyaad Barre, in 1991 (Bakonyi p.S238-S255). Since the fall, a war ensued over the formation of a new government. The Transitional Federal Government (TFG) was the result of an international peace conference held in Kenya in 2005 (Bakonyi p.S238-S255). The TFG, unable to maintain control over the Somali citizens, received helped from Ethiopian troops. Ethiopian forces eventually withdrew their help in 2009 (Bakonyi p.S238-S255). There still has yet to be any resolution, leaving thousands of Somalis displaced. Millions of people throughout the world are considered to be refugees and are spread around the world. In the case of those from Somalia, many have fled to surrounding countries, such as Kenya, to seek protection. Throughout points in the civil war, there have been at least 100,000 Somalis at a time in the Dadaab camp (located near the Somalia-Kenya border) (Lovgren). Those fortunate enough have been able to escape to America either under refugee or asylum statuses. The majority of Somalis seeking refuge are those of the Somali Bantu clan. This group is considered to be at the most second class citizens (Lovgren). Members of this clan have a dark African complexion while the majority of the country has more Arab features (Lovgren). Since they have such a low status, Somali Bantus have very minimal sources of protection. Once the
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Hill Somali Bantu reach these outside borders, their struggles do not end there. While in these various refugee camps, poverty creates an environment of malnutrition and limited resources. For many, being granted asylum status and the opportunity to come to America is the only way to truly be relieved of the pain and stress of the civil war. However, assimilation is not so simple. As compared to the popular story of “the Lost Boys” from Sudan, most Somali Bantus are older (Axtman). Since they are older, adapting to American ways becomes more difficult and lengthy. The average Somalis seeking refuge were previously subsistence farmers living in houses made of mud (Axtman). Not only are Somalis’ lifestyles harder to change because they have grown into adulthood with their practices, but they are also being thrown into a society full of
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Refugee Paper - Hill Jasmine Hill 3 October 2011 GEO 101...

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