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One Year Later, Survivor Of Lampedusa Disaster Starts Anew

The October 2013 shipwreck that killed 366 off the Italian coast moved the world to the plight of Africa's desperate migrants. A survivor from Eritrea tries to start a new life in Sweden.

A monument on Lampedusa to migrants who have died.
A monument on Lampedusa to migrants who have died.
Niccolò Zancan

ÄNGE — On Friday evening, after he has taken the bus home from his language school, Russom will buy 10 candles, three bottles of beer for his friends, and some orange juice, milk and honey for himself. With 14 fellow Eritreans who have wound up in the small Swedish town of Änge, he will mark this day around a simple kitchen table.

Friday is both a tragic and happy anniversary. The group will light the candles and read aloud the names of their friends who died off the coast of Lampedusa last Oct. 3. And then, after the prayers, in the middle of this forest of trees destined to make furniture, they'll look to drive away their nightmares, offering a drink to them all.

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