560: Abdi and the Golden Ticket

560: Abdi and the Golden Ticket

Jul 3, 2015
A story about someone who's desperately trying – against long odds – to make it to the United States and become an American. Abdi is a Somali refugee living in Kenya and gets the luckiest break of his life: he wins a lottery that puts him on a short list for a U.S. visa. This is his ticket out. But before he can cash in his golden ticket, the police start raiding his neighborhood, targeting refugees.
  • It turns out winning the lottery is only the first step in trying to come to America. More than half of the people who win each year never make it. Abdi is living in Nairobi, Kenya, when he wins, and as he's trying to prepare for his interview at the U.S. Embassy, Kenyan police start relentlessly raiding his neighborhood, rounding up Somalis and taking them away. So Abdi goes into hiding in his apartment. BBC reporter Leo Hornak spoke to Abdi almost every night while this was happening, to find out if Abdi would evade the police and make it to America. (17 minutes)

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Abdi Nor in Nairobi. Credit: Leo Hornak

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