Perth mining engineer and author Yuot A. Alaak will give an author talk this month in Cockburn to celebrate Australia’s cultural diversity during Harmony Week (15-21 March).
The author of memoir Father of the Lost Boys (Fremantle Press) will share the journey of how his book came about, and the true story of his brave father Mecak whose words ‘the pen is mightier than the gun’ helped spur him on.
The former South Sudanese child refugee will be a guest at Success Library at 6.30pm Wednesday, 17 March.
In the 1980s, Alaak, his mother and siblings were forced to flee fighting in South Sudan to a refugee camp called the Lost Boys across the Ethiopian border after his father Mecak, a respected teacher, was captured as a political prisoner.
After a miraculous escape, Mecak also ended up at the Lost Boys camp where he began to teach the children.
When civil war broke out in Ethiopia, he led 20,000 boys on a treacherous 1600km four-year trek back to Sudan and onwards to Kenya out of the reach of rebel forces which wanted to recruit the children as child soldiers.
Yuot accompanied his father on this exhausting march and uses his eye witness accounts to relay this extraordinary story of courage in his memoir.
With degrees in geoscience and engineering, Yuot now works and lives in Perth with his family. His book was shortlisted for the City of Fremantle Hungerford Award in 2018 and published by Fremantle Press in 2020.
Limited tickets are $5 per person via Eventbrite. For more information visit the Cockburn Libraries website.
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