Nine Thousand Nights chronicles Burma refugee crisis

In remote "bamboo cities" ringed by deep forests and high mountains, on the western edge of Thailand, refugees from Burma have lived a life apart for more than 25 years, or "nine thousand nights."

Farmer looking at crops

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In remote "bamboo cities" ringed by deep forests and high mountains, on the western edge of Thailand, refugees from Burma have lived a life apart for more than 25 years, or "nine thousand nights."

Now they and "outsiders" who have known them share their personal memories of harsh, inspiring and extraordinary times on the 1,200-mile Thailand-Burma border in Nine Thousand Nights: Refugees from Burma, A Peoples' Scrapbook.

Among the hundreds of contributors are refugees from Burma who have resettled to the United States and who now are members of communities across the country. They tell of the pain and trauma of fleeing from bullets, torture and forced labor at the hands of the Burmese army; of their determination to survive and build new lives in exile; and of their frustration with the restrictions of life as "temporary guests" in another country.

Other contributors include Thailand Burma Border Consortium (TBBC) members and donors, visitors, nongovernmental workers, diplomats, Thai government officials, photographers, journalists, and others who have been involved in the work and life on the border throughout the years.

A project of the Thailand Burma Border Consortium, this extraordinary 200-page volume brings together hundreds of stories, anecdotes, poems, art and photographs to paint a vivid mosaic of the life and times of a place and its people, who have long been waiting for solutions to their plight.

TBBC member agencies in various countries are distributing the book. In the United States, Nine Thousand Nights (9" x 10.75" paperback; ISBN 978-616-90557-0-9; CWS-IR 1010) is available from Church World Service, a TBBC founding member and continuing supporter. Cost is $30, which includes shipping and handling. Order here or call 800-297-1516 (toll-free); please reference CWS-IR 1010.

Read a review of Nine Thousand Nights by David Scott Mathieson, senior researcher on Burma for Human Rights Watch.

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