Stefanella's Drive Thru

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Africans in Israel February 17, 2008

Meet Marcelle. He’s an attractive 15-year-old, no?

And sweet. I can vouch for that. I met him last week. On Valentine’s Day, in fact. It was rainy and mucky outside but his megawatt smile lit up the room.

He speaks French and a smattering of English.

But he doesn’t look all too chipper in this particular photo.

To be expected, I guess. After all, he walked/ran thousands and thousands of miles from Africa’s West Coast – Cote d’Ivoire, to be exact – to Tel Aviv. Take a look at the map. You’ll get a shock.

Yes. By foot.

Rumor has it that for fleeing refugees like Marcelle, getting to Israel entails torture, imprisonment, the constant threat of death and sometimes witnessing the murder of family members.

That’s why he’s alone in the Tel Aviv shelter he shares with dozens of others like him who have fled Eritrea and Sudan. He was orphaned. He witnessed his parents’ murders.

Marcelle is desperate for an adoptive family. He’s suffering. But then he has been through the kind of purgatory most of us only read about or see in movies.

So have many others like him. His name’s not Marcelle, by the way. He’s afraid that if I print his real name something might happen to relatives back in the Cote d’Ivoire.

The 6,000 refugees in Israel: It’s real and they need help.

Get in touch with the African Refugee Development Center to find out what you can do.


4 Responses to “Africans in Israel”

  1. Kelly Says:

    I did look at the map and not surpisingly this is the message I got “We could not calculate driving directions between Cote d’Ivoire and Tel Aviv, Israel.” The perserverence floors me.

    Thanks for the link.

  2. We’re supposed to feel sorry for this 15 year old while the Palestinian refugees are killed and massacred daily at the hands of this Nazi-like government?



  3. stefanella Says:

    Well, Attending, you’re not “supposed” to feel sorry for anyone. It’s called empathy. And it either happens or it doesn’t. It’s not selective.

    Which Nazi-like government are you referring to? And does that mean that if Palestinians are getting killed I’m not allowed to feel compassion for Africans?

    My sympathies run wider than that. And if you’re referring to the Israelis, then perhaps you need to do some fact checking about the Palestinians and who exactly is “keeping them” in refugee camps…

  4. Liza R Says:

    attendingtheworld, I actually feel sorry for you, if your heart isn’t big enough to fell compassion for a boy who walked thousands of miles looking for safety after watching his parents get murdered. Are you really that blinded by your hatred for Israel that you can’t see beyond it to recognize the suffering of others?

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