A Hope More Powerful than the Sea Paperback – 25 Jan 2018
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Melissa Fleming's tale of a young Syrian woman's search for peace and safety is a book written for our times. Fleming captures the unremitting fear, the crushing despair, and the glint of hope for a better life that drive families to risk everything and sail the treacherous seas. On every page, loss and hope tangle. On every page, the human toll of the worst humanitarian crisis of our time is painfully, heartbreakingly brought home. 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 (Khaled Hosseini, bestselling author of The Kite Runner)
In a few years, when people will look back at our current time of conflicts, dislocation, and displacement, the story of Doaa al-Zamel - and of those she saw die, and of the new life she saved? . . . will stand out as one of its defining narratives (Bruno Giussani, European director, TED)
it should enable us to see beyond the cold weight of the numbers, and into an individual's own warm and vivid story . . . 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 now . . . Doaa al-Zamel is both ordinary enough to compel sympathy, and extraordinary enough to be unforgettable (Natasha Walter Observer)
Fleming's account is as gripping as it is moving (Financial Times)
Written by an official in the UN's refugee agency, this deeply affecting book recounts the story of a young Syrian, Doaa al Zamel . . . Fleming brings a moral urgency to the narrative. Doaa is now safe in Sweden, but Fleming pointedly asks, 'Why is there no massive resettlement program for Syrians - the victims of the worst war of our times?' (New Yorker)
Fleming deftly illustrates the pain of those who choose to leave Syria . . .[She] recounts their narrative with compassion and without melodrama, and her book is ultimately a story of hope . . . The message is to try to humanize one young woman, to tell her tale so that the migrant crisis does not become a bunch of nameless, faceless people fleeing a war but human beings with families, with needs, and with desires (Newsweek)
Stories like Doaa's, presented in the form of excellent storytelling, thrilling surprises, and powerful characters, do have an impact. This is a must-read book for everyone who is debating the refugee crisis, because it boils the entire war in Syria down to one family, one young woman: Doaa (New York Journal of Books)
[Doaa's] inspiring story is urgently required reading (People)
A Hope More Powerful than the Sea poignantly illuminates some of the reasons why our fellow humans embark on such perilous journeys to reach Europe . . . One can only hope that by sharing Doaa's story, her remarkable courage, Fleming will help people better understand why so many are prepared to risk so much in order to reach relative safety (Times Literary Supplement)
A young refugee's story of terror, love and survivalSee all Product description
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Now I wish I could ask very person who has ever wondered why refugees leave their homes and risk dying at sea in their search of a better life, to read this book.
This is a story of a family, a community and a country at war. The consequences of the war to ordinary families, told through the most extraordinary story of a brave and passionate young woman, Doaa.
The story has been intensely researched and based on confirmed events. I challenge anyone to read this book and not be deeply, deeply moved.
The ongoing refugee crisis is a disaster of our times. Sometimes it is hard to empathise as the sheer horror of the reporting and the numbers of men, women, children and infants involved can create a feeling of helplessness in us as we watch, read and hear stories of the relentless stream of refugees.
But by focusing on the story of a remarkable individual and living through her ordeal as we read about her story, it is possible to totally understand and care for not just Doaa and her family, but all the millions of people around the world, enduring similar hardship.
This book should be read by everyone - but above all by people in positions of power. We all need to feel the connection with our fellow human beings and the traumas they are enduring as our world is wracked by conflict and war.
Please, read this book. And then give it to your friends and family to read. Let us make Doaa’s story so well known that we start to feel that we all know her. And then, maybe, something will be done to really help all those vulnerable refugees who so
desperately need our help.