A Homemade Museum in a Refugee Camp
Tens of thousands of refugees from the civil war in Yemen have fled across the narrow Mandeb Strait to Djibouti, on the Horn of Africa. Nicolas Niarchos reported for The New Yorker from Djibouti, where Yemeni refugees cross paths with Ethiopians escaping a devastating drought. In one camp, he met a man whom aid workers described as a kind of Peter Pan. Abdillahi Bashraheel was once a road surveyor in Yemen, and lost everything in the war. From the camp, he walks miles in the desert each day to pick up broken toys, electronics, wood, stone, and other bits and bobs. He arranges these objects in his tent to create what he calls his museum—a place of beauty and respite under desperate circumstances.
Plus, Tracy K. Smith, the poet laureate says that “green space has fed the inner silence that I think most writers are seeking.”