Books et al.Displaced Populations

Life on the edge

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Science  29 Jan 2016:
Vol. 351, Issue 6272, pp. 444-445
DOI: 10.1126/science.aad8525

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Millions of refugees have fled the conflict in Syria since 2010. But the urgency of the situation only captured the full attention of the media, governments, and the public once refugees began entering Europe in large numbers in 2015. Yet, even as our attention finally shifts to refugees fleeing Syria, it shifts further away from the hundreds of thousands who continue to struggle for existence in semi-permanent encampments around the world. In City of Thorns, Ben Rawlence describes life in the Dadaab refugee camps in Kenya, the world's largest and oldest refugee settlement. Weaving the underlying history and politics into the stories of individual residents, he renders the uncertainty, poverty, hunger, and powerlessness experienced by the refugees concrete, immediate, and moving.