The Lost Boys Come to America
January 3, 2003 8:33 PM   Subscribe

The Lost Boys of the Sudan are a group of nearly 17,000 orphans whose parents were murdered and whose homes were destroyed by a government miltary turned against them. They marched on foot, without food or water, under attack from hungry predators & occasional strafing miltary fire for several years until settling in a squalid refugee camp in Kenya; nearly a decade later, the U.S. began a humanitarian policy of importing them, a few at a time, and resettling the lucky few in cities such as Chicago, Atlanta, and even Fargo, N.D. (NYTimes, reg req'd)
posted by jonson (14 comments total)
There've also been a few stories in the local Denver press about the Lost Boys here.
posted by kozad at 9:03 PM on January 3, 2003

April 1, 2001?

I doubt its an april fools joke, but this is old old news.
posted by atom128 at 9:21 PM on January 3, 2003

Nonetheless, it's never been posted here before, and I doubt the majority of readers will have seen the article on their own. What's your point?
posted by jonson at 9:30 PM on January 3, 2003

It would only be old news if the news were over. But this is an ongoing story.... and a good one at that.
posted by Witty at 9:41 PM on January 3, 2003

The point, I think, is that you're going against the grain of Newsfilter *cough* I mean Metafilter....after all, surely you've read the TOS, right?

And line 45, subparagraph 6 clearly states that no article *cough* I mean News Story shall be considered for posting if it more than six hours old, unless it clearly mentions Chomsky, US Politics (in a divisive sense only), Cultural Imperialism, or a new Flash widget.

This will be your only warning. Future violations of the TOS will be met with lethal force.
posted by aramaic at 9:43 PM on January 3, 2003

Lentils, rice and onions work for me anyday over canned American food (Spam?). $100 a month for food is a crime they probably would be better off in an African refuge camp then what that could buy in the US eg. spam, wonderbread and balogna.
posted by stbalbach at 9:52 PM on January 3, 2003

My point was I didn't understand what prompted you to post this now. Why not a year and a half ago when this article came out? Did something new happen?
posted by atom128 at 10:12 PM on January 3, 2003

Yea... he became a member in July.
posted by Witty at 10:13 PM on January 3, 2003

Also, I read the article in the recently published "The Best Non-Required Reading of 2001", which is a brilliant book, and highly recommended. Did a search for the article online when last night on CBS there was a follow up story about how some of the lost boys were doing. Thought it was interesting, touching, etc.
posted by jonson at 10:23 PM on January 3, 2003

last week 60 minutes II had a "best of" show and this was one of the segments that they featured. it got 30 of the 60 minutes and was obviously an extended story rather than the normal 15 minute segments. they followed many of the lost boys from africa to the US and then showed how they were making out after being in the US for 6 months.

it was an incredible story and the first i had heard of it.

jonson: thanx for posting the additional info.
posted by suprfli at 10:23 PM on January 3, 2003

the fact that the resettling has been discontinued because of recent conflicts is also something new. I agree that the article is too old, but the issue is still ongoing.
posted by supershauna at 10:56 PM on January 3, 2003

A comprehensive Sudanese peace may be close at hand. The US has been quietly pushing the parties toward an agreement, and envoy John Danforth, the former Missouri Senator, helped negotiate a framework for talks last summer called the Machakos Protocol. Some rebel groups have acceded to it but others have not. It provides for a federalized Sudan, giving the non-Islamic south an autonomous government, which is bitterly opposed by Islamists.

Last fall blogger Joe Katzman hosted the thoughts of Lawrence J. Peter, a former Naval Intelligence officer who, after a stint with the OSCE, joined the international monitoring effort in the Sudan. Part 1, Part 2, an introductory story about an incident involving a disabled Russian helicopter, and Clarifying Details, and a narrative about his monitoring and his personal political assessment: Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3. {Last four links on same page, just read up.} Some final notes on resumed hostilities.
posted by dhartung at 9:56 AM on January 4, 2003

I've met some of the lost boys... I have a number of acquaintances who are international/community activists and met them when they came to Salt Lake City a while back. When I was attending a birthday party there this summer, so these guys from Sudan. There's some kind of incongruity to think of the smiling, dancing, laughing person in front of you as having been shot at and chased by lions... although I suppose it's easy to understand why they looked happy, considerining how much better a party on a warm summer evening is than having your life threatened.

It reminded me a little bit of a reflection I made 10 years ago... I was living in south central Los Angeles, volunteering as a missionary, and was working in Lynwood/Compton on April 29... a bit scary to watch lots of buildings on fire and some pretty intense civil unrest that happened after the verdict in the Rodney King case came down. I hadn't been paying attention to the case at all -- but suddenly, it had a very personal, close impact. Meeting the lost boys wasn't really the same thing... but there still was suddenly in front of me a personal embodiment of conflict I'd read about in Sudan. You see news/history a little differently when you come in contact with that perspective.

Anyone ever watched Zhang Yi Mou's "To Live"? That film did the something similar for me with its perspective on China's political landscape in the 20th century...
posted by namespan at 1:10 PM on January 4, 2003

Benjamin and his Brother, is a superb documentary about two brothers from the Lost Boys group who don't fare as well in the US as many news agencies would have you believe.
posted by ericrolph at 5:49 PM on January 4, 2003

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