This Lost Boy of Sudan Has Finally Found His Home – Teaching Chess
BY ALEXANDRA ZASLOW@alexandrazaslow
12/14/2014 AT 11:45 AM EST
What started out as an activity to pass time and take his mind off severe hunger pains turned into a life’s work for Sudan native Majur Juac.
Juac – who is unsure of his age, but believes to be in his early 30s – was one of the 20,000 Lost Boys of Sudan who were displaced or orphaned during the Second Sudanese Civil War lasting from 1983 to 2005. He discovered his passion for chess at a Kenyan refugee camp he escaped to after his village was burning down, as reported in the Wall Street Journal.
The 200 people in his group at the refugee camp were given one chess board to share in 2000.
“I had seen a chess board before, but I didn’t know how to play the game,” Juac told PEOPLE. “I just watched the other guys play and after they left, me and another friend played around with the pieces and figured it out on our own.”
It came really easily to him.
“I got the movements of the pieces and fell in love with the game, Juac says. “It’s the best game because it’s all on you on whether you win or lose, unlike cards where you can have a bad hand or teammate.”
After 9/11, the program, which was funded by the United States government, was cut short. In 2004, Juac was flown to Arlington, Virginia, where the U.S. government provided him a home. He got a job as a supermarket security guard.
In 2012, he traveled by Greyhound to New York City to visit a friend who was playing in a chess tournament in Forest Hills, Queens.
Full article here.