Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman’s Quest to Make a Difference

“It’s like they’re all from my own country,” he said. “They’re my brothers.”

(John 207)

I’m not a big fan of non-fiction books. Just throwing that out there. But I begrudgingly admit that I actually kind of liked this story.

Outcasts United: An American Town, a Refugee Team, and One Woman’s Quest to Make a Difference is rather tedious title to type, so I’m just going to shorten it to Outcasts United.

Anyway, the story in a nutshell is about a woman from Jordan named Luma, who was doted all her life. She decided to move to America, and ended up in Clarkson, Georgia. Because she was an only child, Luma’s parents saw her decision to move like a slap in the face, and basically disowned her. So she was on her own. At the time, there were many wars and conflicts going around in Africa, and many refugees started immigrating to the US.

Luma was having a pretty tough time raising money, even though she worked several jobs, like working as a soccer coach at the YMCA. When she noticed a group of refugee boys playing soccer, a lightbulb when off in her head.

She was going to form a refugee soccer team.

And so the adventure begins.

This book is kind of like one of those inspiration movies where you want to rise and start applauding after the credits start to roll. After I finished the book, I was like:

There were times where I didn’t like Luma because I believed that she was too harsh on the refugee kids in her soccer team. Thankfully, she later admits that she regrets doing some things that were, in both her opinion and mine, a bit harsh.

The one thing I found difficult while reading Outcasts United is not jumbling up the characters. There are so many people that come and go in the story that it was hard to remember who was who, this person was this other person’s older brother, he was this dude’s best friend, he’s from Liberia, that family is from Ethiopia, etc.

After one point, I kind of gave up telling some of the minor characters apart.

Other than that, I enjoyed the story a lot.

The main reason why I enjoyed Outcasts United so much is that I’ve never read anything like it before. Sure, there are many stories out there about war, struggle, etc. but I feel like there aren’t many non-fiction books that tell the stories about the aftermath of the immigrants that had the flee their home country because of a conflict. Not many people stop to think about their problems and what they have to face when they reach their so-called haven, and this book encompasses that.

I would rate this book a solid 4 out of 5 stars.

I’ve talked to some of my classmates, and many of them, including those who hate reading, told me that they enjoyed this book.

If you want to check out more about the Fugees, go to their official website where you can donate to their non-profit foundation.

“No one person can do everything,” she said. “But we can all do something.”

(John 299)


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