Where’s the manger?

Last Christmas Eve I read about a family – mum, dad and a three-year old – forced to escape from Eritrea when the man was conscripted into the army, which is the equivalent of enslavement. (His best friend chose another escape and killed himself.) The family crossed the Sahara (others died on the way) and ‘lived like dogs’ in Libya. Eventually, they reached France where they found shelter in a derelict sports centre in Calais, no heat or toilets. The mother, pregnant, cooked potatoes over a fire of twigs. Her husband worried about finding a lorry for them in which to hide, on which to cling so to reach safety. Strikes me this story has parallels to a certain other famous family’s flight from danger.


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