The Boy on the Beach: My Family’s Escape from Syria and Our Hope for a New Home

Tima Kurdi. Simon & Schuster, $26 (272p) ISBN 978-1-9821-0851-9
Kurdi’s intimate and tragic account of her family’s escape from civil war–torn Syria illuminates the human element of the refugee crisis. Kurdi had immigrated to Canada long before the war; after the war was underway, her siblings’ families fled the country. Her sister-in-law and nephews drowned while attempting to cross from Istanbul to Kos, Greece, and her nephew Alan became an emblem of the refugee crisis when a photograph of him lying dead on a Turkish beach went viral. Kurdi begins with recollections of her “jasmine-scented” Damascus childhood before movingly describing her life in Canada, the crushing fear and anxiety she felt as her five siblings and their families attempted the dangerous border-crossing into Turkey, and her frustration with the inaction of the Canadian government and the UN to help the refugees. “The refugees were victims of terrorism and global geopolitics,” she writes, “yet they were increasingly viewed with the same suspicion and hostility as the terrorists they had barely managed to escape.” But she also highlights moments of kindness and love in Canada, Germany, Syria, and elsewhere. This is a moving tale of displacement, tragedy, and family. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 07/23/2018
Release date: 08/21/2018
Hardcover - 272 pages - 978-1-5011-7523-7
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