North to paradise : a memoir

by Umar, Ousman,

Format: Print Book 2022
Availability: Available at 3 Libraries 3 of 3 copies
Available (3)
Location Collection Call #
CLP - Main Library Mezzanine - Non-fiction DP53.A35 U4613 2022x
Location  CLP - Main Library
Collection  Mezzanine - Non-fiction
Call Number  DP53.A35 U4613 2022x
CLP - West End Non-Fiction Collection DP53.A35 U4613 2022x
Location  CLP - West End
Collection  Non-Fiction Collection
Call Number  DP53.A35 U4613 2022x
Mt. Lebanon Public Library Non-Fiction 946 Uma
Location  Mt. Lebanon Public Library
Collection  Non-Fiction
Call Number  946 Uma

The inspiring true story of one man's treacherous boyhood journey from a rural village in Ghana to the streets of Barcelona--and the path that led him home.

Ousman Umar is a shaman's son born in a small village in Ghana. Though his mother died giving birth, he spent a contented childhood working the fields, setting traps in the jungle, and living off the land. Still, as strange and wondrous flying machines crisscrossed the skies overhead, Ousman dreamed of a different life. And so, when he was only twelve years old, he left his village and began what would be a five-year journey to Europe.

Every step of the way, as he traveled across the Sahara desert, through the daunting metropolises of Accra, Tripoli, Benghazi, and Casablanca, and over the sea aboard a packed migrant dinghy, Ousman was handed off like merchandise by a loose network of smugglers and in the constant, foreboding company of "sinkers": other migrants who found themselves penniless and alone on their way north, unable to continue onward or return home.

But on a path rife with violence, exploitation, and racism, Ousman also encountered friendship, generosity, and hope. North to Paradise is a visceral true story about the stark realities of life along the most dangerous migrant route across Africa; it is also a portrait of extraordinary resilience in the face of unimaginable challenges, the beauty of kindness in strangers, and the power of giving back.

Published Reviews
Publisher's Weekly Review: "In this astounding tale of courage and tragedy, Umar--founder of NASCO Feeding Minds, a nonprofit committed to improving the lives of Ghanaians--recounts the harrowing journey he endured immigrating to Europe from Ghana. "When we started out, there were forty-six of us. Only six survived," he writes at his story's outset, laying bare the scope of misfortune he encountered over five years, after leaving his remote village at age 12 with a group of migrants for a better life in Europe. Early on in their trip, though, their smugglers abandoned them, forcing Umar and the others to find their own way through the desert without food or water: "Whenever we were lucky enough to find moist sand, we grabbed fistfuls of it and squeezed it until a single drop fell on our lips." Even after making it out of the desert, brutal beatings and the cruelty of human traffickers became Umar's norm as he made his way to Casablanca en route to Europe. Still, with unerring humanity, Umar brings instances of light to his sobering tale through moving recollections of the friendships that bolstered him and moments of "divine intervention" that led him to finally find a new home in Spain. This is a stunning testament to the strength of the human spirit. (Mar.)"
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Additional Information
Subjects Umar, Ousman.
Immigrants -- Spain -- Biography.
Africans -- Spain.
Publisher Seattle, [Washington] :Amazon Crossing,2022
Other Titles Viaje al pais de los blancos.
Contributors Dunn, Kevin Gerry, translator.
Language English
Translated from the Spanish.
Notes "Previously published as Viaje al pais de los blancos by Plaza & Janes in Spain in 2019" -- Title page verso.
Description 147 pages : illustrations (some color), map ; 19 cm
ISBN 9781542030113
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