City of Thorns by Ben Rawlence

Dadaab is the largest refugee camp in the world.  There are actually several camps located around the town of Dadaab in the north-eastern desert of Kenya.  For those who remember the crisis in Darfur (in Sudan) much of this is depressingly familiar; starving people, long walks through inhospitable surroundings, those with very little having that taken away from them, etc.  There is certainly that aspect, but this book goes further.  It tells the stories of several people who live in the camps and it explains some of the things happening outside of the camps that make life for the refugees so difficult.  It is a sober look at refugee camps and the situations that many of their inhabitants face.

1. What ethnic groups are in the Dadaab camps?

2. What percentage of the refugees are Somalians?

3. What role did religion play in the story of Monday and Muna?

4. Why did the relocation of Monday and Muna take so long?

5. What does a "cinema" in the refugee camp consist of?

6. What is khat?

7. What role did the Kenyan police and politicians play?

8. What role did the UN play?

9. What surprised you most about the camps?

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