Seed of South Sudan

Memoir of a “Lost Boy” Refugee


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About the Book

One of the most detailed books on the Lost Boys of Sudan since South Sudan became the world’s newest nation in 2011, this is a memoir of Majok Marier, an Agar Dinka who was 7 when war came to his village in southern Sudan. During a 21-year civil war, 2 million lives were lost and 80 percent of the South Sudanese people were displaced. Tens of thousands of boys like Majok fled from the Sudanese Army that wanted to kill them.
Surviving on grasses, grains, and help from villagers along the way, Majok walked nearly a thousand miles to a refugee camp in Ethiopia. Majok and 3,800 like him emigrated to the United States in 2001 while the civil war still raged. His story is joined to others’ in this book.

About the Author(s)

Majok Marier is a plumber’s apprentice in Atlanta, supporting his family and working for improvements in South Sudan villages.
Estelle Ford-Williamson, a former UPI reporter, writes and teaches in Atlanta. She has published a book about Atlanta and two anthologies of recollections of the Civil Rights era.

Bibliographic Details

Majok Marier and Estelle Ford-Williamson
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 204
Bibliographic Info: 19 photos, 2 maps, appendix, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2014
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7428-8
eISBN: 978-1-4766-1497-7
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix

Map of Majok Marier’s Journey xi

Map of South Sudan xii

Preface 1

Introduction 3

One: Don’t Drink the Water 5

History of Sudan and Egypt 15

Two: Walking in the Wild 22

Three: Where Was the World While We Walked? 37

Four: Seed of Sudan 49

Five: Fleeing Ethiopia 57

Six: Kakuma Refugee Camp 66

Seven: Change Is in the Air 76

Stephen’s Story 77

From Teeth to Driving, Volunteers Help the New Residents 92

Eight: America’s Struggle Ends Sudanese Airlifts 96

Judy Maves and the Many Ways of Mothering 99

Mama Gini Goes to Sudan 103

Nine: A Dinka Finds a Bride 112

John Garang and the SPLA 119

Ten: The Beginning of Many New Things 128

Eleven: Stories of South Sudan 137

Twelve: Celebrities and Friends of South Sudan 148

Thirteen: Infrastructure 157

Fourteen: South Sudan’s Future 164

Fifteen: Warriors in a Different Kind of War 172

Appendix: Aid Groups in Ethiopia and Kenya 177

Notes 179

Bibliography 183

Index 187

Book Reviews & Awards

“I have met Lost Boys from all over the world, all of them with their own dreams to help back home. Majok never gives up; he keeps going. How hard it is for him to watch his family drink unsafe water and then return home to the US were it seems to be such a simple thing, but Majok will keep going on….. When you meet and talk to these men you will wonder why you haven’t helped before. Become a mentor. Get involved. Read the story. Buy the book.”—Judy Maves, mother of one Lost Boy and mentor to dozens; “The average fan thought swatting away basketballs was Manute Bol’s primary job. But it became clear to me that playing hoops was just a front, the financial source that allowed Manute to pursue his real passion: donating his millions to worthy Sudanese causes, and campaigning to gain attention for his country’s needs. Seed of South Sudan recounts how Manute’s support helped free South Sudan. It’s a powerful, moving story.”—Alan Sharavsky, former marketing director of the Philadelphia 76ers.