Tsega Gebreyesus was doing doctoral research on family planning access in Israel when she began hearing stories from African asylum-seekers about a human trafficking chain in the Sinai desert. The asylum seekers had been kidnapped on their journey to Israel and suffered unimaginable cruelty while traffickers tried to extort money from their families.
After I met with Tsega late last year, she wrote a powerful article about the issue, “Bodies in the Desert” for Johns Hopkins Public Health magazine (Spring 2014). I recently asked her to answer some questions to see what’s happened since the article was published. In this Q&A, Gebreyesus talks about the origins of the story and how the experience changed her life.
—Brian W. Simpson, MPH, is Editor-in-Cheif of Global Health NOW.