The book of beetles and angles, is a based on a true life story of an Ethiopian refugee who ends up in the U.S. The boy and his family flew the Ethiopian civil wars and find themselves in the Sudan asylums. He embarks through a hardship journey until he finds success. A successful flee from one’s mother country, is not always assured of a safe and secure refuge destination. Many are cases where refugees are left homeless for years in their first destinations. The initiative to settle refugees in northern America is purely an individual initiative. We take a long journey into Ethiopian refugees who have managed to secure full permanent settlement in America.
The Ethiopian refugees Sudan experiences is just a show of the initial steps in the migration process. The trip is harsh and involves an encounter with many risks. In rare occasions, you will find they have the pleasure of accessing means of transport. The journey involves all day-night walking sometimes without food or water. Often they oversee the possibility of rejection and take the risks of robbery, attacks among other violent encounters. They even risk contradicting diseases such as malaria. They tend to settle in the most immediate peaceful environment. In the book; of beetles and angles, we are confronted by a case where Mawi and the family first flee landed them in Sudan. They spend three years in the asylum, till they decide to take a personal initiative to move to America. The Ethiopian refugees have been increased by the frequent civil wars mostly along the borders.
Sudan is the most reliable and convenient first destination for the Ethiopian refugees. The conditions these refugees live in are not very welcoming. The majority end up in the rural set up with about 1% gaining access to the cities. They are less mobilized and end up settling in a rather scattered manner among the Sudan nationals. They are awarded small plots where they can settle in but this occurs after a long time. They survive by providing labor services in cases where wage- settlement is offered. The case of Mawi and the other migrants is not any different from these conditions. For three years they are faced with similar situations in the Sudan camp.
Communication barrier is usually a challenge for the refugees. The Ethiopian refugees are not any unique to this challenge. In Sudan, they have to learn a new language while adapting to the new culture in a bid to survive. There is a daring lack of shelter, public health care, and subsistence. Deaths being reported a short period after arrivals in the camps. They face risks of depression, home-sick with a feeling of isolation from where they once called home. Somehow feeling a loss identity. With studies showing the refugees 4-5 years later they usually live with the same problems (Mekuria Bulcha, p.30). About 75% are not anywhere near achieving economic sustainability and self-reliance 3-4 years later. Mawi and the other refugees are forced to find alternatives due to such problems. Three years later they still struggled in the Sudanese asylum.
Unemployment is a millennial problem that has cropped many African countries for decades and centuries. With refugees, underemployment is a common trend. The rate of market labor accumulating the refugees is usually very slow and low. Most of the refugees’ households live below the poverty line i.e. below a dollar a day (Mekuria Bulcha, p.58). The households are economically crippled with the poverty matching for new refugees and old refugees. Their attempts to exist in cities such as Khartoum is futile due to lack of documentation exposing them to exploitation. The situations nor unique to Mawi and the group. A close look into Ethiopian migrants or rather refugees to Sudan draws major critical points. Refugee flight involves great risks of impoverishment. This means even the financially stable citizens in their motherland are greatly financially disabled.
The initiative by the U.S to offer a settlement to the refugees, an increased number of refugee arrivals increase. This move saw Ethiopians enter the U.S borders back in the late 1970s. With the enacting of the Refugee Act in 1980, the move saw a further increment of refugee arrivals in the subsequent years. Though later the numbers started declining annually. This is associated with the move by Sudan to approve applicants with relatives in the U.S. many preferred to settle in places that were occupied by Ethiopians in the past. The areas “flooded” by Ethiopians were DC, Washington, New York, and Dallas. Their patterns of assimilation closely preferred Washington and DC due to economic friendliness.
Adapting to a new environment incorporates learning the new ways of life. Ethiopians in the U.S never learned to adapt to a new way of life. Being in a fully capitalist society means there are less economic dependency and more financial stability. Consequently, this resulted too many even committing suicide and a series of depressions. Even though some cities where Ethiopians were many managed to form foundations that supported them. The Greater adaptation also achieves in areas with more Africa Americans within active engagement in social and economic activities. Over time the Ethiopians gain more economic dependency in this area than the Sudan asylums. In the book, we are presented with a situation where Mawi and immigrants take a bold step and start off to the U.S a land believed to offer more opportunities.
The U.S is a country that has almost achieved universal health care. Ethiopian refugees enjoy this advantage fully. They enjoy good health facilities and other social amenities such as schools. In their country especially the rural areas, these facilities are limited and not enough for all. With many being presented in the U.S service industry, they have been offered medical covers. Even though a section of them also rely on subsidized health from their employers. In regards to education, Ethiopia suffers a high level of illiteracy. In the U.S, they have access to the same schools to Americans. Many immigrants have taken advantage to attain academic literacy even though a handful of other immigrants have turned into crime and criminal activities in the cities. Citing racism and decline of Christian churches for the Ethiopians and major contributor. In the book; of beetles and angles, we are presented with Mawi an Ethiopian immigrant who seize the scholarships granted and goes all the way to Harvard University. A prove the immigrant have full access to social amenities.
The refugees are allowed to have close relations with their home country. They are allowed travel permits back to visit their relatives. Many manage to go back to their country and back. With less civil war being experienced there. Studies have shown the refugees maintain a positive attitude to their country even though they not willing to go back and resettle there. They give reasons such as the occupation of their original land rendering them homeless (Mespadden and Moussa, p.199).
It is clear being a refugee is not more of a personal choice. The flight location and destinations of the refugees are never predetermined. Therefore it is true to argue the refugees live and survive at the mercy of the host country. Refugees suffer a lot of frustrations and live in more deplorable conditions. The United States put into consideration a lot of factors to establish a settlement scheme for its refugees. This will forever impact her refuges by positively changing their living standards.