Arefaine-Zerit-Henok-Alex-Minasie

The Soccer-Star Refugee of Eritrea

Samson Arefaine was ecstatic when he was invited to try out for the national soccer team. “It was a dream come true,” he said. “One day, I would be able to leave the country.”

Arefaine still sometimes cries when he talks about her. “My mom is the sweetest person, because she devoted her life to us,” he told me.

His mother looked at the camp and at Arefaine, who was frighteningly thin, and sobbed uncontrollably. “I was telling her not to cry,” he recalled. “From then on, whatever happened to me I kept to myself.”