If I were a bird I would fly home

Beshir is a small child living in war-torn Aleppo. His family already lost Beshir’s elder brother to war and they have to leave and flee to a refugee camp in Turkey. Before parting, Beshir takes a handful of earth with him in his pocket and realizes through a dream that a tree seed is hiding in the earth and he should save it. When the family reaches the Turkish border and gets placed in a refugee camp, Beshir plants the seed into a tin can. There he meets other refugee kids, among them is also Zehra with whom he starts a silent friendship as Zehra cannot hear anymore.

The Syrian refugees in Turkey are a burning issue and the book relates us the agony and solitude these people experience through the eyes of a child. Beshir can hardly speak the language, other children shy away from him and he often has to experience rejection and humiliation because he is a Syrian. His only way of interacting with his thoughts are the revelations of the tree that he hears in his dreams and the pen-friendship he establishes with another girl in the camp. This poignant story reflects the hardships the Syrian refugees are experiencing in a neighboring land; although the war is far away, now awaits them poverty, alienation, abuse.

The critically much acclaimed novel was awarded with 2015 Tudem Literature Award.

Novel, Tudem, 2016, 120 pages

Themes: War in Syria, refugees,

alienation, family

Age: 10+

 

 

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