What Is the What | Valentino Achak Deng | Talks at Google | Summary and Q&A

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May 3, 2007
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Talks at Google
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What Is the What | Valentino Achak Deng | Talks at Google

TL;DR

Valentino AEK Deng shares his inspiring life story as a Sudanese refugee, highlighting the challenges he faced in America.

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Questions & Answers

Q: How did September 11th impact Valentino AEK Deng's journey to the United States?

Deng's original flight to the US was scheduled for September 11, 2001, and he was stranded in Nairobi for two weeks before finally being allowed to enter the US on September 25. The attacks added to his fears as a Sudanese immigrant.

Q: How did Deng adjust to life in America and what challenges did he face?

Deng initially struggled to find stable employment and had to take on multiple part-time jobs. He also faced difficulties in adapting to American culture, including language barriers and unfamiliarity with Atlanta, his new home.

Q: How did Deng's experiences in America shape his desire to raise awareness about Sudan?

Deng realized that many Americans were unaware of the conflicts in Sudan and the struggles faced by its people. He wanted to share his story and bring attention to the war and genocide happening in his home country.

Q: How did the foundation created by Valentino AEK Deng support his hometown and Sudanese immigrants in America?

The foundation, funded by the proceeds from "What is the What," aimed to rebuild Deng's hometown in Sudan, Mariel Bai, and provide educational opportunities for Sudanese immigrants in America.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Valentino AEK Deng recounts his flight from war-torn Sudan to refugee camps in Ethiopia and Kenya before finally settling in Atlanta, USA.

  • Deng describes his struggles to adapt to life in America, including finding jobs and pursuing education.

  • The book "What is the What" chronicles Deng's journey and aims to raise awareness about the conflicts in Sudan.

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