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Joy and Sorrow, Hand in Hand

I’ve know Umda Tarbosh for over three years. Every time I come to visit camp Goz Amer, I spend more time with him than with anyone else. I learn so much from him! He’s a wonderful, compassionate man that has a smile that makes you feel happy deep inside. He’s a leader for his people, from when he was in Darfur, to when he helped thousands escape violence, to here in the refugee camp. He’s also just fun to be around!

It is amazing to learn from Umda that it is possible to experience unimaginable horrors and remain positive, loving, and hopeful. Today, my good friend told me something I did not know about his story. At one point during what seems like an endless timeline of violence in his homeland, he lost 45 members of his family — in the course of 1 week. 45 family members killed in 1 week.

I showed Umda pictures of my children, and it gave him such joy to see them. On the other hand, I’ve seen his face when the weight of the sorrow that he carries shows through. I appreciate his friendship and that he is willing to share so much of himself.

Peace, Gabriel


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