Because if A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea does push more people into action and solidarity, then it will have done vital work; the most important work, perhaps, that a book can do right … Full access is for members only. How can we encourage more people to see refugees as individuals? Yes. Emotionally riveting and eye-opening, A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea is the incredible story of a young woman, an international crisis, and the triumph of the human spirit. The story of a Syrian refugee who, in an attempt to escape to Europe, ends up nearly dying in a shipwreck and struggling to save two little girls, the same ages as my daughters. I received this book for an honest review. If the bricks and mortar of the fallen cities of Syria, the grains of sand on the beaches of Egypt and the water of the Mediterranean could speak, this is one of the stories they might tell. ", Today, Thanksgiving in the USA, I do realize how much I have for which to be thankful. For they have borne witness to the plight of hundreds of thousands of refugees like Doaa. I was a Goodread winner for this book. ‘A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea’ is a revealing insider story of a nineteen-year-old Syrian refugee - Doaa Al Zamel. This book is wonderful because it gives such a close look inside the crisis and truly humanizes it through Doaa's story. What a shocking story. Zamel and one of the babies – and not her fiance – are two of just 11 people who survive from the boat. But in non-fiction, every word can't be true, every word from every conversation can't be perfectly recalled if not recorded or written down at the time, we all know that. We’d love your help. For my job, I travel to war zones and refugee camps to give voice to the millions of people forcibly displaced from their homes. As peaceful protesters are shot on the streets and tanks roll into her city, eventually she and her family decide to leave their homeland. How is A Hope etc changing your view on the news, if at all? And, have any bookclubs read this book and if so, any good discussion points you can share? Melissa Fleming takes dozens of hours of interviews a well as other primary resources surrounding Doaa’s life and her ordeal in the Mediterranean Sea in order to make the point that not only is this suffering happening, that we are all criminally negligent (my wording) in our overall lack of response and follow through to this humanitarian need. $39 for a year. Welcome back. Doaa al-Zamel is both ordinary enough to compel sympathy, and extraordinary enough to be unforgettable. The Syrian refugee crisis is definitely one of the defining moments of our times, and I think history is going to judge the world quite harshly for how little we've done to help the people fleeing crisis in Syria. To see what your friends thought of this book. How and can you share any examples? We are starting discussion of this book as well if you want to join in at the Hearts and Homes for Refugees group. I told one remarkable refugee story on the TED stage: “By the end of 2014, UNHCR would record close to 60 million forcibly displaced people, 8 million more than in the previous year. There is no way I can even comprehend such a horrific act. It's a story that I think everyone needs to hear. She is a frequent contributor for The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, and NPR. The Syrian refugee crisis is definitely one of the defining moments of our times, and I think history is going to judge the world quite harshly for how little we've done to help the people fleeing crisis in Syria. Doaa must stay alive for them. © BookBrowse LLC 1997-2020. Natasha Walter’s novel, A Quiet Life, is published by Borough Press. The author of Orphan Train returns with an ambitious, emotionally resonant historical novel. RESOURCES. And I did learn much from reading this book, especially about the plight of the refugees of Syria and the need to address this massive humanity issue. Syrian refugee Doaa al-Zamel, one of the few survivors of a deadly boat journey across the Mediterranean. I lead communications for the United High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR). Search: Doaa Al Zamel’s is exactly that, but it is also an incredibly accessible primer on what life was like in part of Syria before the war started, the excitement that the Arab Spring brought, and the realities of suffering that families and communities have been made to endure both in the war zone but also in the places they have run to for safety. When Zamel is finally rescued after four days in the water, she is found with two baby girls clinging to her. She then worked with more professionals, including an Arabic-speaking journalist who conducted some of the interviews without Fleming, and “added perceptive commentary and contributed descriptive writing”, and a writer who provided “edits and additions [which] helped bring the scenes into more vivid focus with colour and emotion”. But then she felt Malak’s tiny arms around her neck and realized that she alone was responsible for this child (206)”, Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for History & Biography (2017), We are reading this for bookclub this week. The great pieces of storytelling that I have encountered about the refugee experience give voice to those who know the horrors. She is the director of Women for Refugee Women. Melissa Fleming is Head of Communications and Chief Spokesperson for the United High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and one of the world's experts on refugees. She was looking for “distinctive accounts of survival and resilience that illustrate refugees’ predicaments” when she saw a report of Zamel’s story. This is a MUST read. Of a boat holding 500 people, eleven survived. I am truly honored to have read this story. I am in awe of the coura. I also have a newfound respect for refugees. Wow. Margie Lafferty, See all 5 questions about A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea…. There is no way I can even comprehend such a horrific act. I hope that its rather guarded tone does not prevent Zamel’s story from breaking through to readers who have not heard such a tale before. It is forbidden to copy anything for publication elsewhere without written permission from the copyright holder. But then she is pushed into a harsher world. The scary part is that parts of the book matches stories told by my students. She imagined letting herself slip through the inflatable ring and into the sea with Bassem. that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, Suggest a Title. Seeing the Syrian conflict and resulting refugee crisis from the perspective of one family and one young woman in particular, made the situation clear and more poignant. Fleming writes with a cool omniscience, never admitting to any uncertainty about Zamel’s inner life, but too often her memories come over as generic. When you give the crisis a face ... a personality .... a character ... the way you see the world will never be the same. This book is written by the chief spokesperson for the UNHCR and is also an interesting insight into the work of organizations charged with alleviating the refugee crisis. I wish this had been told by Doaa herself rather in third person - it feels a little disingenuous to have such a narrative told through the filter of a Western author - but the essence of what Doaa has suffered (and now triumphed over) really comes through this book. READ. But the large collection of professionals on whom Fleming has relied to frame the story has left an imprint throughout. Search String: Summary | Couldn't stop reading it. The journey of Doaa (and her family) is amazing and heart wrenching. At the beginning of the book, we meet Zamel’s large and pleasant family, hear about her ambitions to be educated, and learn why she supports the fledgling revolution. Refresh and try again. Emotionally riveting and eye-opening, A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea is the incredible story of a young woman, an international crisis, and the triumph of the human spirit. "This is an emotional read, at times painful, but it is above all a poignant tribute to hope, to resilience, and to the capacity for grace and generosity that dwells deep in the human heart." They press us into empathy. There was a curious sense of detachment throughout most of the telling, as if the author was simply reciting a journalistic account. This book also does a great job of tracing back the beginning of the war in Syria to small events and shows how little things can add up to make a huge difference in international politics. A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea chronicles the life of Doaa, a Syrian girl whose life was upended in 2011 by the onset of her country's brutal civil war. More Books, One Refugee's Incredible Story of Love, Loss, and Survival, Published in USA  This book is hard to read because of the difficult circumstances of Doaa, and so many modern refugees. I don't want to call it inspiring, because it's horrifying and I don't think we should glorify suffering or somehow legitimize what Doaa went through as a thing to be aspired to - but that does not mean that Doaa's inimitable spirit and determination to find a different life aren't incredibly uplifting, especially considering the circumstances. After four days at sea, their boat is sunk by another boat filled with angry men shouting threats and insults. But back to the book: when Doaa and Bassem are told by a smuggler they will be taken aboard a cruise liner for their trip from Egypt to Italy: I had 3 thoughts: 1) the smuggler is lying, how can Doaa and. Genre: Biography/Memoir Title I don't know how else to describe it. Fleming should be congratulated for bringing Al Zamel's inspiring and illuminating story to the page." [She states she ‘loved’ Bassem, but I do not believe it. I'm glad I read this book but it unfortunately is just one of so many sad and horrible stories from Syria. It is an amazing story that really explains what is happening in Syria. I understand the passion that she felt for telling this story to bring to light the plight of refugees; I am certain that she cares deeply. At the end of this book, Fleming explains how she constructed her own narrative. Fleming always accords proper respect to Zamel herself, who contributes a note of thanks to the book. I paint in words and voices, rhymes and rhythm More Information | That is the word that still echoes in my head a half hour after reading her story. This book is wonderful because it gives such a close look inside the crisis and truly humanizes it through Doaa's story.