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Click the link above to read an excerpt from They Poured
Fire On Us From The Sky
About the book
They were all under the age of seven when they were driven from a
war-ravaged country. In this deceptively understated memoir, three
boys recall in their own words their harrowing journey to safety.
Benjamin, Alepho, and Benson were raised among the Dinka tribe of
Sudan. Their world was an insulated, close-knit community of grass-roofed
cottages, cattle herders, and tribal councils. The lions and pythons
that prowled beyond the village fences were the greatest threat they
All that changed the night the government-armed
Murahiliin began attacking their villages. Amid the chaos, screams,
conflagration, and gunfire, five-year-old Benson and seven-year-old
Benjamin fled into the dark night. Two years later, Alepho, age
seven, was forced to do the same. Across the Southern Sudan, over
the next five years, thousands of other boys did likewise, joining
this stream of child refugees that became known as the Lost Boys.
Their journey would take them over one thousand miles across a war-ravaged
country, through landmine-sown paths, crocodile-infested waters,
and grotesque extremes of hunger, thirst, and disease. The refugee
camps they eventually filtered through offered little respite from
the brutality they were fleeing.
In They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky, Alepho,
Benson, and Benjamin, by turn, recount their experiences along this
unthinkable journey. They vividly recall the family, friends, and
tribal world they left far behind them and their desperate efforts
to keep track of one another. This is a captivating memoir of Sudan
and a powerful portrait of war as seen through the eyes of children.
And it is, in the end, an inspiring and unforgettable tribute to
the tenacity of even the youngest human spirits.
Alephonsion and Benson Deng, and their cousin Benjamin
Ajak were relocated from the Kakuma refugee camp in Kenya to the
United States as part of an international refugee relief program.
They arrived in 2001. Now all in their mid-twenties, Benjamin, Benson,
and Alephonsion live in San Diego, California.