Refugee, hero, champion, survivor

Brendan Woodhouse, Doro Ģoumãňęh

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‘This is Doro and he is beautiful.’

So begins the extraordinary story of Doro Ģoumãňęh, who faced an unimaginable series of adversities on his journey from persecution in The Gambia to refuge in France.

Doro was once a relatively prosperous fisherman, but in 2014, when the country’s fishing rights were stolen and secret police began arresting Gambian fishermen, Doro left home, fleeing for his life. From Senegal to Libya to Algeria and back to Libya, Doro fell victim to the horrific cycle of abuse targeted at refugees. He endured shipwreck, torture and being left for dead in a mass grave. Miraculously, he survived.

In 2019, during one of his many attempts to reach Europe, Doro was rescued by the boat Sea-Watch 3 in the Mediterranean, where he met volunteer Brendan Woodhouse. While waiting out a two-week standoff – floating off the coast of Sicily, as political leaders accused Sea-Watch, a German organisation that helps migrants, of facilitating illegal entry to Europe – a great friendship formed.

Told through both Doro’s and Brendan’s perspectives, Doro touches on questions of policy and politics, brutality and bravery, survival and belonging – issues that confront refugees everywhere. But ultimately it is one man's incredible story – that of Doro: refugee, hero, champion, survivor and friend.

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memoir, racism, policy, immigration, migration, small boat, population, social, Libya, history, refugee, discrimination, deportation, African historical biographies, biographies, torture, channel, Schengen, Gambia, demography, African politics