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Past Event

Ty McCormick with James Fallows: Beyond the Sand and Sea

Dadaab Refugee Camp in Kenya is home to more than 200,000 Somali refugees. Of these 200,000 people, 56 percent are children. These young boys and girls growing up in the world's largest refugee camp must resist recruitment into extremist groups, avoid brutality from security forces, and forego dangerous job opportunities. Asad Hussein, a Somali refugee born and raised in Dadaab, found resistance in donated novels written by American immigrants and through communication with his sister Maryan, who already found sanctuary in Arizona. Through stories of happenstance, long odds, impossibly good luck, and uncommon generosity, Hussein would eventually overcome tireless obstacles, reunite his family in the United States, and win a scholarship to study literature at Princeton University.

In his new book Beyond the Sand and Sea, American foreign correspondent Ty McCormick reports on Asad Hussein and his family over a three-year period to gain a better understanding of refugee life and place in America. The story of Asad, Maryan, and their family’s escape from Dadaab Refugee Camp is just one of many. This timeless narrative uncovers the perseverance of refugees everywhere, and exposes the broken refugee resettlement system that has kept thousands of families in permanent exile.

Join us as Ty McCormick speaks on his experiences with Asad Hussein and his family to give readers a better understanding of refugee life and belonging in the world.


This is a free-for-members program. Members: Click on the "Buy Tickets" button above to order your tickets, and select the members link on the left side of the page. Your username is the email you used to sign up as a member. You can also request a password reset if needed. Discount will automatically be applied at checkout.

Copies of Beyond the Sand and Sea are available for purchase during checkout. Purchased books will be sent to the address provided at checkout (domestic U.S. addresses only).

This is an online-only program; you must pre-register to receive a link to the live-stream event.

We can accommodate a limited amount of complimentary access for those for whom cost is a barrier. Please email

April 6, 2021

United States

Image - Ty McCormick
Ty McCormick
Senior Editor, Foreign Affairs; Author, Beyond the Sand and Sea: One Family's Quest for a Country to Call Home; Twitter @TyMcCormick
Image - James Fallows
In Conversation with James Fallows
National Correspondent, The Atlantic; Co-author, Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America; Twitter @JamesFallows

10–11 a.m. (Pacific Time) program