One of our fantastic lawyers, Lily Axelrod, specializes in asylum cases and nominated today’s immigrant of the week. Lual Mayen was recently recognized in the Washington Post for his extraordinary journey from fleeing the war in Sudan to launching a new company, Junub Games. After playing games such as Grand Theft Auto, with violence, Mayen thought of an idea to have a peace game rather than a violent game; to save rather than to kill. Mayen’s story is an incredible one; after first seeing a computer at the refugee registration and database center, he became determined to have one. His mother saved up for three years to buy him a laptop, but there was nowhere in the camp to charge it. Mayen walked 3 hours every day to the nearest internet café to use it. Mayen spent 22 years of his life in a refugee camp until 2017 when he was granted a visa to present his work in the United States.
The most recent project of Junub Games is called Salaam, which means “peace” in Arabic. The game is inspired by Mayen’s times living in a refugee camp and will allow players to assume the role of a refugee. Characters will be faced with real-life decisions and difficulties faced by refugees, such as food distribution, finding shelter from bombing, and finding water. Characters must use real-world money to purchase food, water, and medicine. The profits made will go towards various NGOs assisting refugees in the world today. Last year, Mayen was named a Global Gaming Citizen at The Game Awards, which is an extraordinary honor. He now lives in Washington, D.C., where he is working on his virtual reality game.
We applaud the dedication and commitment of Mayen and look forward to learning more about Salaam and Junub Games.
— Contributed by Eden Siskind