Tokyo Olympics: They Consider Themselves Israelis – but They're Representing the Refugee Olympic Team

They saw death, torture and persecution in Eritrea and Darfur, but managed to escape and find shelter in Israel. Now they’re part of the refugee team at the Tokyo Olympics. Despite the racism they have encountered, they assert clearly: ‘I am an Israeli in every respect’

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Tachlowini “Louie” Gabriyesos.
Tachlowini “Louie” Gabriyesos. Credit: Rami Shllush
Itamar Katzir
Itamar Katzir
Itamar Katzir
Itamar Katzir

Toward the end of the interview in the Tel Aviv offices of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Tachlowini Gabriyesos is asked if there is anything else he would like readers to know about him. “That I’m a coffee addict,” he replies without hesitation, indicating the cup beside him that a short while before held black coffee, but in which only the “mud” – the sediment – remains. “As you can see.”

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