The BeeKeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

The Beekeeper of Aleppo

The unforgettable love story of a mother blinded by loss and her husband who insists on their survival as they undertake the Syrian refugee trail to Europe.

A beautiful and haunting tale of Syria and the families who lost so much and fought so hard to stay in their home country, only to be driven out by war.

This is the story of Nuri, a beekeeper, and his wife, Afra, who is an artist. They live in the city of Aleppo and their life is a good one. Until war comes. In a bomb strike their lives change forever. They change forever. Afra has seen such horrors, she is now blind. But with the aid of Nuri’s cousin, they escape. 

It is a long and hard journey they must now go on. Now they are refugees. Looked down on and taken advantage of. Nuri is suffering from PTSD and only wants to find a place to raise his bees and be safe. They can never go back. All they have is memories of a home that will never be theirs again.

This is a story of human strength and compassion. A real story of the horrors of war in
Syria and the real people who are dying and suffering for a reason we don’t really understand. Nuri and Afra may never see Syria again, but can they find their way back to each other?

This is a book you need to read. It’s not pretty and it’s very sad, but it’s honest and I cried and was very grateful to have read it.

Very Well Done!

NetGalley/ August 27th, 2019 by Ballantine Books

 

ASSAD OR WE BURN THE COUNTRY by SAM DAGHER

Assad, or We Burn the Country: How One Family's Lust for Power Destroyed Syria

From a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist specializing in the Middle East, this groundbreaking account of the Syrian Civil War reveals the never-before-published true story of a 21st-century humanitarian disaster.

Finally a real account of what is going on in Syria! And from a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist who specializes in the Middle East. A never before heard boots on the ground look at the Syrian Civil War that is killing the country.

In 2011, President Bashar al-Assad, decided to address the Arab Spring-type protests in Syria with crushing violence on his own people. There would be no uprising here. Instead, there would be a long war that so far has killed almost 500,000 and as citizens flee, terrorist groups came in and suddenly we had an enormous refugee issue. His response went against the advice of his friend Manaf Tlass, commander of the army. 

Dagher uses his own observations and experiences in Damascus and has interviewed many on both sides of this war. Including Tlass. Everything he says rings true. The campaign waged by Basheer has turned the country and the entire region into chaos.

This book could not be more timely. Dagher has shown us what evil looks like and how easily it can be ignored by the world. There is so much false information out there and this book clears it all up very nicely.

Keep bringing us the truth and great journalism!

NetGalley/ May 28th 2019 by Little, Brown and Company

 

 

AN ISHMAEL OF SYRIA by Asaad Almohammad

An Ishmael of Syria

Book Blurb:

Adam is a tortured soul. Exiled from his homeland, forced to watch the horrors unfold from afar. His family, still living – or surviving – in war-torn Syria struggle daily to feed, clothe, and educate their children.
Adam tries to be a ‘global citizen’ and become a part of his new community in Malaysia, but is constantly faced with intolerance, bigotry, and plain old racism. Opportunities are few and Adam finds himself working long hours for poor pay so that he can help his family.
The increasingly distressing news bulletins, along with Adam’s haunting childhood memories, compel him to examine his own beliefs; in God, in humanity, in himself and his integrity as a reluctant bystander in the worst human catastrophe of the twenty-first century.

A personal story told in the voice of Adam. A Syrian, living in Malaysia. Unable to live in his own country due to civil war and upheaval.. The story goes back and forth from the present to the memories of childhood .All of the different parts and pieces that make us who we are and shape our ideas of who we are and where we belong are brought into question. I felt as if I was reading someone’s journal. The feelings of not belonging to any place and unable to go back home.were so heartbreaking. Trying to assimilate into a new country is not easy when you look like Adam and the intolerant and racist people he comes into contact with on a daily basis made me embarrassed as a human being.

As he says in the book “…to their ears, being a Syrian sounds like you’re unclean, shameful, indecent; it’s like you owe the world an apology for your very existence.”

I learned more about the Middle East and Syria in this one book than I have in all of the news shows and history lessons I’ve taken. I can’t imagine being judged solely on my skin color or ethnicity. That the author has tackled this in such straightforward and easy to read book is a gift to us all.

An extremely timely story written by an author I have the deepest respect for.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Born in the 80s, Asaad Almohammad was raised in Ar-Raqqa, Syria. A member of the International Society of Political Psychology and a research fellow, he has spent years coordinating and working on research projects across the Middle East and North Africa. To date he has addressed a number of psychological aspects of civil unrest, post-conflict reconciliation, and deradicalisation. In his spare time Asaad closely follows political affairs, especially humanitarian crises and electoral campaigns. He is especially interested in immigration issues.