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National Book Award Finalists Visit GA

On Tuesday, September 28, 2021, Lower School, Middle School, and Upper School students heard from author/illustrator Victoria Jamieson and author Omar Mohamed. The duo talked about their book, When Stars are Scattered, which is a National Book Award Finalist. The popular graphic novel is based on Mohamed's life growing up in the Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya. 

When Stars Are Scattered

Mohamed was born in Somalia. At age two, he fled to the Dadaab Refugee Camp where he lived for the next 15 years. Despite the difficulties of living in a refugee camp, he completed primary and secondary school. In Dadaab, Mohamed worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in their resettlement program as an interpreter.

In January 2009, Mohamed moved to the United States as a refugee with his younger brother. In 2010, he was accepted into the University of Arizona. He earned his degree in International Development in 2014 and became a citizen of the U.S. that same year.

In 2015, Mohamed started working as a resettlement case manager for Church World Service - Lancaster. In his role, he worked with refugees from the first day they arrive in the U.S., assisting them to reach self-sufficiency within the guidelines of the U.S. Department of State.

In May 2018, Mohamed started Refugee Strong, a non-profit organization committed to empowering refugee communities by providing support and hope through education. Mohamed returns to Kenya every year and spends two months volunteering in the schools as a mentor to the youth of Dadaab. With the help of his community, he delivers school supplies to the Dadaab students who can’t afford these items. Having grown up in Dadaab Refugee Camp, Mohamed is a constant advocate for those who continue to live there.

Jamieson is a New York Times bestselling author and illustrator of books for children. Her graphic novel Roller Girl was awarded a 2016 John Newbery Medal.