(The Conversation, Martin Plaut, November 23, 2017) Bahabolom must be one of the luckiest men alive. Now in Switzerland, granted refugee status, and studying French and German, his extraordinary journey nearly cost him his life. “I was like a football – kicked from one country to another,” he told me from Zurich, which is now his home.
Bahabolom – or “Bob” as he’s known – set off from Eritrea (probably Africa’s most repressive state) back in 2009. Via Sudan and Egypt, he crossed the Sinai before entering Israel. “I got a job as a dishwasher and then a cook, in Tel Aviv,” he told me. “But I couldn’t get asylum – I was only given a conditional release and had to report to the authorities every three months.”
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