JRS Co-Publishes New Book on Refugee Experience

14 February 2020

Related: Reconciliation

In today’s news and public discourse “refugees” or “migrants” are often groups that are quickly depersonalized, without names and faces or hopes and dreams. Dying to Live: Stories from Refugees on the Road to Freedom, a new book out today, brings the very personal stories of people who have been forced to flee their home and seek a better life. The stories are moving and often heartbreaking and provide a personal view of the larger issues of forced displacement we face today.

Stories like that of Tigiste, a refugee who was imprisoned for her Christian beliefs in Eritrea, suffering degradation and sexual abuse by her captures. Tigiste eventually escaped, only to meet ISIS in Lybia, who killed her friends and companions in front of her. Tigiste made the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean, and was able to seek asylum in France, where she was welcomed by a kind community and now waits for the arrival of her son.

Dying to Live is being copublished today by Jesuit Refugee Service and Roman and Littlefield and authored by Danielle Vella, JRS director of the International Reconciliation Programs.

“I’ve met many refugees in my 20 years working with Jesuit Refugee Service,” says Danielle Vella. “Their voices deserve our attention, and their stories should move us all to take action and welcome those seeking safety and freedom.”

“This moving, sometimes harrowing, new book of stories invites you to see them as your brothers and sisters. An essential book for understanding one of the most pressing challenges of our time,” Says James Martin, S.J., author of “Jesus: A Pilgrimage” and “My Life with the Saints.”

And, Julian Coman, Associate Editor of The Guardian, says “Here, at last, we have refugees speaking for themselves, with piercing clarity and dignity. A must-read for anyone who wants to get behind the headlines of the refugee crisis and understand the vulnerable, fragile and fugitive lives which impose on us an inescapable moral responsibility.”

Author, Danielle, Vella will be doing readings and visiting 5 cities in the United States – St. Louis, Denver, Omaha, Seattle, and Washington, DC – February 18-March 2. Full details are at www.jrsusa.org/dyingtolive

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Danielle Vella available for interview on request.

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