A Syrian refugee family's attempt to cross the sea results in tragedy.
Millions of people have seen the heartbreaking photograph of Alan Kurdi: a young boy lying in the sand, dead at the edge of the sea. Appallingly, Alan is just one of thousands of Syrians who have died in a desperate effort to flee their shattered, war-torn country. In this gripping, emotionally charged account, Tima Kurdi, Alan’s British Columbia–based activist aunt, shares her family's story and the events that led to this horrific moment, in which everything changed not only personally, but also globally, as the world finally became aware of the plight of hundreds of thousands of Syrians. Although readers know the outcome of the story from the beginning, the suspense and anxiety are all that much greater as the author details the beautiful family life she shared with her siblings in Syria, filled with laughter, good food, and a strong sense of culture and pride. The war began after Kurdi had married and moved to Canada, and the family's peaceful existence quickly became a nightmare for her brothers and sisters who remained behind, as they suffered humiliation, deprivations, and even torture. Desperate for food, work, and shelter, her extended family broke apart, some traveling over land to safer countries and others choosing to risk crossing the Mediterranean from Turkey to Greece on flimsy rubber rafts filled past maximum capacity by the smugglers they hired. The ending of the author’s tale is shocking. Three members of her extended family died trying to reach a better life. Though they lost their lives, their names—Alan, Ghalib, and Rehanna—live on in this tribute to them and to all the Syrians who have lost loved ones and their homes due to the civil war that still plagues their homeland.
An honest, passionate account of a refugee family’s terrible losses that should inspire, as the author hopes, others to speak “for all the people who have no voice.”