Celebrities in Dadaab

When I’m jogging around the 2.5k path at the edge of the UN compound here in Dadaab, I often find myself thinking about all of the celebrities who have come here. This is probably caused by the mixture of the “This American Life” episodes I listen to and the best dance songs of 2012. Somewhere between Ira and Flo Rida, I find myself smiling thinking about celebrities who have visited Dadaab. Do they stay in the UN compound? Do they fly in in the morning and out by lunch? Do they eat Ugali with aid workers or refugees, or both? What is this experience for them, as people? Do they know what’s going on here? How much do they know (I’m not sure anyone can know all of it)? And, there’s something voyeuristic about it that I can’t put my finger on. I’m not sure why I find this entertaining; celebrities, like all of us, also do their part in humanitarian emergencies (for better or for worse). But there is something reassuring about seeing someone completely out of place here. It makes celebrities more human and this setting more surreal than it already is. So, for a review, a slide show of the celebrity moments in Dadaab:

 

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