Friday, August 08, 2008

The Lost Boy’s Run for Freedom

From The Religion of Peace site:

Lopez Lomong

The US Olympic team has chosen a Jihad survivor, Lopez Lomong, to carry the American flag in China, which sponsors ethnic cleansing in his native Sudan through oil purchases and arms sales. At the age of 6, Lomong was among 100 children kidnapped from a church service by Islam’s Holy Warriors during a Religion of Peace raping and killing spree.

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He was one of the lost boys.

Now the Sudanese-American young man, an escapee from the Muslim captors that took him at gunpoint from his parents, is running for his life again.

After spending ten years in a refugee camp Lomong came to live with a New York couple (along with five other boys). He attended high school there and then college in Arizona.

Joseph Lopez Lomong was chosen by his teammates to be the flag bearer in the opening ceremonies at the Beijing Olympics…
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If that weren’t enough, he will run onto the field, flag in hand, just a year after achieving American citizenship.

And if that weren’t enough, his teammates include two more naturalized citizens, Kenyan- American Bernard Lagat and Mexican-American Leo Manzano.

There are many happy endings in this story, with many ironic tragedies nested inside those tales. For the latter, consider that China supplies arms to the Sudanese who stole this boy from his parents.

The runner himself has some parting words:

“In America, everyone has a chance to do all these things,” Lomong said. “You follow the rules, people will choose, and if I’m blessed to get that opportunity, I’ll get it.”

6 comments:

Findalis said...

This was a great choice made by the team. I'll be watching the opening ceremonies on tv tonight just for that shot.

Dymphna said...

findalis --

An admission: we don't have a TV and don't follow sports in general. Thus, lots of current culture gaps.

But this inspirational story is gripping.

Maybe after the hoopla there will be a book about Joseph's life. In 2000, he paid a few cents to watch the Olympics at the refugee camp where he lived before being taken to America. He and four (five?) other Sudanese boys were fostered by a couple near Syracuse.

Maybe the fact that he literally had to run for his life to elude his captors made him so swift?

Natalie said...

This is such a nice story... not what originally happened to him, of course, but the happy ending.

babs said...

Dymphna
A few years ago I read an excellent article on the lost boys that were resettled to the U.S.
If you look around Google, you might be able to find it.
One group of the boys were set up in an apt. by a Christian group. The group fully stocked the apt. with furniture, clothing and food.
The boys had no idea how to cook the food and, when they did cook something it made them ill. After a few weeks of this one of the volunteers asked why no one was eating anything. The boys asked if they could have some lentils...

Dymphna said...

babs..

Your story reminds me of our own American foster children.At 18, they are let loose, to make their way the best they can.

Many of them have been "fostered" in a series of homes and learned long since not to make attachments because they might not last.

I've been an advocate of group homes like the one in southwestern Virginia. The boys live in cottages, are supervised by cottage 'parents' and have the opportunity to prepare for life as an adult.

Look at what happens to college kids who are set up in apartments by thier parents. Many college town landlords charge these groups immense rents, because it will take a great deal of money to clean up after them.

And they don't even have to adjust to a new culture.

Graham Dawson (Archonix) said...

The student cities around most universities in this country are similar. They're little better than slum housing. The landlords know that they'll just end up trashed and stinky at the end of each year so they just don't bother to make them more than very basically habitable. If I were in property I would never, ever rent to students.