Two new books on the world-wide refugee crisis

The New Odessy is from the Guardian’s first ever refugee correspondent, Patrick Kingsley. The comparisons with the classical Odyssey are pushed, but in an appropriate way. The thrust of this book is that had the United States stepped up at the beginning of this crisis and taken a large share of refugees then (like after Vietnam) then Europe would not be over-run and floundering and the areas of crisis would be more stable themselves. The thinking being that this would have enabled more people to safely stay put at home.

Throughout the book–approximately every other chapter is one man’s journey–his Odyssey to get from Syria to, he hopes, Sweden and then legally reunite his family. This has excellent lessons and discussion starters regardless of a person’s religious beliefs or political bent. The correspondent’s own journeys on the trail of this journey round out the book.

Seeking Refuge is from Moody with foreword By Bill Hybels, is a Christian look at the situation which adds some practical strategies for churches to use as advocates, etc, for refugees. Various refugee workers, mostly with the agency World Relief, tell their personal stories of helping fleeing victims of persecution world wide. The US refugee acceptance screening process is explained clearly, with helpful graphs and charts.

This book is very appropriate for Churches and other groups seeking to help with refugee resettlement, acculturation and post-arrival life in the United States.


Readers may also want to see my list of books on current-day Muslim life here.

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