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Escape from Syria

by Samya Kullab

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543377,976 (3.94)7
A graphic story of intense current events. From the pen of former Daily Star (Lebanon) reporter Samya Kullab comes a breathtaking and hard-hitting story of one family's struggle to survive in the face of war, displacement, poverty and relocation. Escape from Syria is a fictionalized account that calls on real-life circumstances and true tales of refugee families to serve as a microcosm of the Syrian uprising and the war and refugee crisis that followed. The story spans six years in the lives of Walid, his wife Dalia, and their two children, Amina and Youssef. Forced to flee from Syria, they become asylum-seekers in Lebanon, and finally resettled refugees in the West. It is a story that has been replayed thousands of times by other families. When the family home in Aleppo is destroyed by a government-led bomb strike, Walid has no choice but to take his wife and children and flee their war-torn and much loved homeland. They struggle to survive in the wretched refugee camps of Lebanon, and when Youssef becomes fatally ill as a result of the poor hygienic conditions, his father is forced to take great personal risk to save his family. Walid's daughter, the young Amina, a whip-smart grade-A student, tells the story. As she witnesses firsthand the harsh realities that her family must endure if they are to survive -- swindling smugglers, treacherous ocean crossings, and jihadist militias -- she is forced to grow up very quickly in order to help her parents and brother. Kullab's narrative masterfully maps both the collapse and destruction of Syria, and the real-life tragedies faced by its citizens still today. The family's escape from their homeland makes for a harrowing tale, but with their safe arrival in the West it serves as a hopeful endnote to this ongoing worldwide crisis. Beautiful illustrations by Jackie Roche -- whose work on the viral web-comic, Syria's Climate Conflict, was seen prominently in Symboliamag. com, Upworthy.com and Motherjones.com, among others -- bring Kullab's words to life in stunning imagery that captures both the horror of war and the dignity of human will.… (more)
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Showing 3 of 3
Good overview of the experience of the Syrian conflict. Probably aiming for around age 13-14 years, though we all could benefit from another dose of empathy. ( )
  pvoberstein | Dec 14, 2020 |
This is fictional, but the author was a reporter who spent time in Lebanon as Syrian refugees came pouring across the border. To write this story, she compiled common happenings of many of the refugees and made it into this graphic novel, told from the point of view of a teenage girl as her family fled Aleppo City amidst the war in Syria. Her family spent time in Lebanon until they were able to get out to come to Canada (this is known from the start of the story).

The illustrations were very well done, I thought. There were even a couple of iconic images represented (one, much more well-known than the other, though the other, maybe known more in Canada as some of the Syrian refugees arrived; the more well known image is the little boy who drowned as he and his family tried to escape). I quite “enjoyed” the story, as well. I read a memoir not long ago of a boy who got out and also came to Canada, and this graphic novel was interesting from a girl’s perspective (the families had no money – or very little – so many young daughters became child brides, though this was only a very small section in the book). At the end, the author takes many of the quotes and images throughout the story and explains more about them. ( )
  LibraryCin | May 13, 2020 |
Unrelentingly depressing until a bittersweet happy ending that is revealed to be highly unlikely for the vast majority of Syrian refugees, this is a message book that is pretty typical for its sort, but has the bonus of simple but charming artwork, very readable lettering and a good balance of dialogue and text boxes. ( )
  villemezbrown | Jul 28, 2018 |
Showing 3 of 3
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A graphic story of intense current events. From the pen of former Daily Star (Lebanon) reporter Samya Kullab comes a breathtaking and hard-hitting story of one family's struggle to survive in the face of war, displacement, poverty and relocation. Escape from Syria is a fictionalized account that calls on real-life circumstances and true tales of refugee families to serve as a microcosm of the Syrian uprising and the war and refugee crisis that followed. The story spans six years in the lives of Walid, his wife Dalia, and their two children, Amina and Youssef. Forced to flee from Syria, they become asylum-seekers in Lebanon, and finally resettled refugees in the West. It is a story that has been replayed thousands of times by other families. When the family home in Aleppo is destroyed by a government-led bomb strike, Walid has no choice but to take his wife and children and flee their war-torn and much loved homeland. They struggle to survive in the wretched refugee camps of Lebanon, and when Youssef becomes fatally ill as a result of the poor hygienic conditions, his father is forced to take great personal risk to save his family. Walid's daughter, the young Amina, a whip-smart grade-A student, tells the story. As she witnesses firsthand the harsh realities that her family must endure if they are to survive -- swindling smugglers, treacherous ocean crossings, and jihadist militias -- she is forced to grow up very quickly in order to help her parents and brother. Kullab's narrative masterfully maps both the collapse and destruction of Syria, and the real-life tragedies faced by its citizens still today. The family's escape from their homeland makes for a harrowing tale, but with their safe arrival in the West it serves as a hopeful endnote to this ongoing worldwide crisis. Beautiful illustrations by Jackie Roche -- whose work on the viral web-comic, Syria's Climate Conflict, was seen prominently in Symboliamag. com, Upworthy.com and Motherjones.com, among others -- bring Kullab's words to life in stunning imagery that captures both the horror of war and the dignity of human will.

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