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Harris completes long journey from Ethiopia to become Jaguars’ third state champion,

  • Published in Sports

Northwest’s Yonas Harris defeats Jagger Clapsadle of Stephen Decatur in the 106lb match of the Class 4A/3A State Wrestling Championships. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH Northwest’s Yonas Harris defeats Jagger Clapsadle of Stephen Decatur in the 106lb match of the Class 4A/3A State Wrestling Championships. PHOTO BY GEORGE SMITH  UPPER MARLBORO — When Yonas Harris smiles, as the Northwest senior did following Monday’s dramatic come-from-behind, 7-5 overtime victory that secured his 106-pound Class 4A-3A state championship over Stephen Decatur sophomore Jagger Clapsadle, there is a bright glow complimenting his bleached-blond hair, lighting up the gym at Show Place Arena.

But Harris’ joy in the aftermath of a definitive accomplishment, culminating just four years of exposure to wresting, belies the journey he has endured from an impoverished section of his native Kombolcha, Ethiopia.

It is a pilgrimage best described in the perfect diction of words from the young man who experienced it.

“I was adopted from Ethiopia at the age of nine. I came to America because both of my parents had passed away, and it was a very impoverished area. Once I got here, I was adopted by Lisa Harris, a loving, single mother who took really good care of me,” said Harris, who has a B-average and a record of 46-1.

“After two years of speaking English, I was already taking AP classes and was able to get my grades up. The entire process was a difficult transition due to some of the trauma from my past, but I don’t feel sorry for myself, and I don’t want anyone else to feel sorry for me.”

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Welcome to The Jungle!

  • Published in Local

 

TheJungle

CALAIS, FRANCE - At first blush, 20-year-old Ali Hussein looks as if he just stepped out of the Montgomery Mall.

With his tan canvas shoes, tight-fitting jeans and a draw-string graphic shirt, he smiles as he speaks - a soft, easy cadence that puts listeners at ease.

He dreams of going to college to study computer science. He fusses over his hair, and he worries about his two brothers and his parents.
But he has one big problem most mall rats never consider.
“I live in the jungle. This is what the French call it.”
“The Jungle” is a notorious refugee camp outside of this famous French port city and is home to 6,000 to 9,000 people, depending on who does the counting. The French government claims the former while residents claim the latter.

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