UNHCR STORIES: Teacher. Dancer. Avid reader.


“One day, when the bombs fell close to my house, I decided to flee”

UNHCR SSD_WRD_Farah story

Farah: “I love reading. When I close my eyes I see myself sitting on top of a tall pile of books and looking at the
world from above. Sometimes, I see books hanging from baobab trees. I would pick one and take a bite as if it was
a sweet fruit. It reminds me of home. After school, I used to walk long distances to get to the farthest baobab tree,
sit underneath and read short stories and fairy tales for hours until sunset. In that moment, I felt like nothing could
bother or hurt me.
Knowledge is freedom. This is what I tell my students. That education is the most powerful tool they have to distinguish
right from wrong. I want them to believe they can be the leaders of the future if they get a good education.
When they get distracted, I start dancing to draw their attention. It works like magic. First they laugh, then they
fall silent and refocus. I used to dance when I was in my country, especially after the rain. The whole community
would gather outside and dance to celebrate the rain. It was a moment of pure joy.”
Farah is 21 years old and teaches English to primary school children. He is the youngest teacher in Kaya, one
of the six camps in South Sudan hosting Sudanese refugees eeing the conict between the government and
opposition forces in Sudan’s South Kordofan and Blue Nile. Before becoming a refugee in South Sudan in
early 2012, he lived in El-Damazin with his family. “Many people lost their lives in shelling attacks”, he says.
“One day, when the bombs fell close to my house, I realized I couldn’t bear to stay there any longer. I ed the
same night.” The conict prevented Farah from completing his secondary education. “But I would never give
up on my education”, he says. “My dream is to nish my studies and become a fully qualied teacher.”

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