Episodes

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012016020820160209 (R4)

In the desert of northern Kenya is a city of half a million people. Why are they there?

Ben Rawlence tells the stories of just a few of the forgotten thousands who make up the half a million stateless citizens of Dadaab - the world's largest refugee camp, in the desert of northern Kenya, close to the Somali border, where only thorn bushes grow.

The author, a Swahili speaker, and former researcher for Human Rights Watch in the horn of Africa made several long visits to the camps over the course of four years. His account bears vivid witness to the lives of those who live in fear, poverty and limbo.

In the first episode, we meet seventeen year old Guled, as he struggles to survive on the outskirts of Mogadishu. He still tries to attend school as well as to earn a living, but the al-Shabaab militias are closing in.

Read by David Seddon

Abridged and produced by Jill Waters

A Waters Company productoin for BBC Radio 4.

022016020920160210 (R4)

Seventeen-year-old Guled has been kidnapped by al-Shabaab. He fears for his life.

Ben Rawlence tells the stories of just a few of the forgotten thousands who make up the half a million stateless citizens of Dadaab - the world's largest refugee camp, in the desert of northern Kenya, close to the Somali border, where only thorn bushes grow.

The author, a Swahili speaker, and former researcher for Human Rights Watch in the horn of Africa made several long visits to the camps over the course of four years. His account bears vivid witness to the lives of those who live in fear, poverty and limbo.

After the deaths of his parents, Guled has been struggling to survive, together with his sister, in a makeshift camp on the edge of Mogadishu. But when al-Shabaab force him from the classroom he fears not just for his own life but also worries about his new bride, Maryam.

Read by David Seddon

Abridged and produced by Jill Waters

A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.

032016021020160211 (R4)

Porter Nisho is almost at the bottom of the pile, but he harbours ambitions for the future

Ben Rawlence tells the stories of just a few of the forgotten thousands who make up the half a million stateless citizens of Dadaab - the world's largest refugee camp, in the desert of northern Kenya, close to the Somali border, where only thorn bushes grow.

The author, a Swahili speaker, and former researcher for Human Rights Watch in the horn of Africa made several long visits to the camps over the course of four years. His account bears vivid witness to the lives of those who live in fear, poverty and limbo.

Nisho has only ever known life in Ifo - one of the camps in Dadaab. His job as a porter in the market enables him to scrape together a little extra to help his mother, whose failing mental health fills him with anxiety. But from his position, almost at the bottom of the pile, he harbours ambitions for the future.

Read by David Seddon

Abridged and produced by Jill Waters

A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.

0420160211

Ben Rawlence tells the stories of just a few of the forgotten thousands who make up the half a million stateless citizens of Dadaab - the world's largest refugee camp, in the desert of northern Kenya, close to the Somali border, where only thorn bushes grow.

The camp is a semi-permanent home (the inhabitants are not allowed to leave without permission) to people fleeing conflicts from all over Africa. And it's far from exclusive to people of one faith. So when Monday, a young Catholic man from Sudan. falls for the beautiful Muna - a Somali Muslim - tensions are bound to ensue.

The author, a Swahili speaker, and former researcher for Human Rights Watch in the horn of Africa made several long visits to the camps over the course of four years. His account bears vivid witness to the lives of those who live in fear, poverty and limbo.

Read by David Seddon

Abridged and produced by Jill Waters

A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.

042016021120160212 (R4)

Monday, a young Catholic man from Sudan, falls for Muna, a Somali Muslim.

Ben Rawlence tells the stories of just a few of the forgotten thousands who make up the half a million stateless citizens of Dadaab - the world's largest refugee camp, in the desert of northern Kenya, close to the Somali border, where only thorn bushes grow.

The camp is a semi-permanent home (the inhabitants are not allowed to leave without permission) to people fleeing conflicts from all over Africa. And it's far from exclusive to people of one faith. So when Monday, a young Catholic man from Sudan. falls for the beautiful Muna - a Somali Muslim - tensions are bound to ensue.

The author, a Swahili speaker, and former researcher for Human Rights Watch in the horn of Africa made several long visits to the camps over the course of four years. His account bears vivid witness to the lives of those who live in fear, poverty and limbo.

Read by David Seddon

Abridged and produced by Jill Waters

A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.

0520160212

Ben Rawlence tells the stories of just a few of the forgotten thousands who make up the half a million stateless citizens of Dadaab - the world's largest refugee camp, in the desert of northern Kenya, close to the Somali border, where only thorn bushes grow.

Monday and Muna find their child, Christine, is being attacked by embittered Somali clan members. Guled threatens to make the long journey to Italy, and in Washington Ben Rawlence tries in vain to explain the nuances of Dadaab life to the National Security Council.

The author, a Swahili speaker, and former researcher for Human Rights Watch in the horn of Africa made several long visits to the camps over the course of four years. His account bears vivid witness to the lives of those who live in fear, poverty and limbo.

Read by David Seddon

Abridged and produced by Jill Waters

A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.

052016021220160213 (R4)

Monday and Muna find their child, Christine, is being attacked by Somali clan members.

Ben Rawlence tells the stories of just a few of the forgotten thousands who make up the half a million stateless citizens of Dadaab - the world's largest refugee camp, in the desert of northern Kenya, close to the Somali border, where only thorn bushes grow.

Monday and Muna find their child, Christine, is being attacked by embittered Somali clan members. Guled threatens to make the long journey to Italy, and in Washington Ben Rawlence tries in vain to explain the nuances of Dadaab life to the National Security Council.

The author, a Swahili speaker, and former researcher for Human Rights Watch in the horn of Africa made several long visits to the camps over the course of four years. His account bears vivid witness to the lives of those who live in fear, poverty and limbo.

Read by David Seddon

Abridged and produced by Jill Waters

A Waters Company production for BBC Radio 4.