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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Clarkston’s refugee soccer team scores in Outcasts United

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New York Times reporter Warren St. John began following Luma Mufleh’s youth soccer team in 2006. A couple of years prior, he’d written his first book about noisy, histrionic University of Alabama football fanatics. This time he was chasing something much different.

Mufleh has an unassuming presence. While coaching, she paces the sideline with a quiet style. A baseball cap on her head, her voice low, she remains keenly aware of her boys on the field. In 2004, Mufleh distributed fliers around Clarkston, announcing soccer tryouts in Arabic, English, French and Vietnamese. The boys that responded became the first of the Fugees, a boys soccer team for refugees relocated from a cross-section of war-torn countries. St. John has penned the Fugees’ story in Outcasts United: A Refugee Team, An American Town, a book that begins in places such as Monrovia, Liberia and Amman, Jordan, but eventually finds a way here, to Georgia.

Continue reading the review of Outcasts United.

(Photo courtesy Random House)

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