A Little Thought…
It is known that without a strong root system, trees cannot be able to stand tall and withstand high winds. However, Tima Kurdi believes that human beings would be able to stand tall without their roots one day!
Tima wears a special locket with a photo of her two nephews – Ghalib and Alan – as a symbol of pain. We all know Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy of Kurdish ethnic background whose image made global headlines after he drowned on September 2, 2015 in the Mediterranean Sea. Alan and his family were Syrian refugees trying to reach Europe via Turkey amid the European refugee crisis. Photographs of Alan’s lifeless body were taken by Turkish journalist Nilüfer Demir and quickly spread around the world, prompting massive global responses.
Tima, the sister of Alan’s father Abdullah, has penned a book, titled The Boy on the Beach, in which she portrays the journey of a family towards uncertainty. The author tries to explain that Alan doesn’t mean a boy lying on the beach, as there are so many Alans in Syria who are struggling to survive.
The images of Alan’s body caused a dramatic upturn in international concern over the refugee crisis. Now, the scenario has changed. US President Donald Trump has decided not to entertain the Syrian refugees. Other Western nations, too, have followed the same path. Tima still believes that Syrian refugees will return to their homes someday. We can consider her publication as a political statement, as Tima documented her pain in a different way. She had sent USD 5,000 to her brother from Canada so that he could leave Syria with his wife Rehana and two sons. She had also sent the red T-shirt and blue pant for Alan. Readers will discover the real Alan in Tima’s publication.
The death of the three-year-old Syrian child has also inspired Khaled Hosseini to write the book, Sea Prayer. “We are living in the midst of a displacement crisis of enormous proportions. Sea Prayer is an attempt to pay tribute to the millions of families, like Alan Kurdi’s, who have been splintered and forced from home by war and persecution,” explained Hosseini.
Written in the form of a letter, Sea Prayer is basically a father’s reflection as he watches over his sleeping son on the dangerous journey across the sea that lies before them. They are leaving the war-ravaged Syrian city of Homs. They are waiting for a boat near the beach……. as the boat will arrive at the crack of dawn. The ride will allow them to forget the scent of gunpowder. The father says to his son: “My dear Marwan, I look at your profile in the glow of this moon, my boy, your eyelashes like calligraphy, closed in guileless sleep. And I say to you, ‘Hold my hand. Nothing bad will happen’.”
Alan and Ghalib
Sea Prayer will be published on August 30, 2018 (on the third anniversary of the death of Alan), four months after Tima’s The Boy on the Beach was published by Simon & Schuster (on April 17, 2018). Hosseini – the Afghan-born American novelist and physician – plans to donate the author’s proceeds from the book to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and the Khaled Hosseini Foundation to help fund life-saving relief efforts for refugees across the globe.
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