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It is an actual story of a refugee family, who landed in the US on the day when Donald Trump won the election. It shows the life of people who come from other countries in the hope of living a better life, but end up having a difficult one where they struggle with the new place and new policies. Their life was horrible where they were living earlier because nobody would leave their own country just like that unless they have a life threat. But coming to a new place comes with its own set of solutions and problems. People who are resident of the said country might feel that refugees are taking up their rightful space, but one should not forget that they had no other option and one should be compassionate enough to help them whenever needed. We only see the privileges they are getting and overlook the hardship.
Here, the family came from Jordan and they were grateful for the house they were provided. But they have to become self-independent in 4 months, which isn't a simple task because they have to do low-level jobs; as professional ones require full background information and it is tedious to get those documents within a few months of one's arrival. For children, it is even tougher as they want to blend in, but not everyone is empathetic. The book shows how you long for your place and people, who you have left behind, the loss of your dreams and the fear of the unknown in a new country.
I enjoyed the pictures as it creates an image and makes it even easier to relate to the subject and characters. If you want to know more about the life of a refugee, read the book.
I've previously read a few graphic novels but am in no way an expert. In the strange world of the current pandemic I am finding reading to be sometimes difficult so I thought I would seek out a few well reviewed graphic novels. I don't like fantasy or super heroes but I'm always curious about a true story so this seemed a good option. Although the book was published in 2020, it appears to have been written before the 2020 US election. Had Trump won then the message would have been even more ominous but now seems to have the space to be much more optimistic with the US leadership in the process of changing. There isn't much time to get to know the characters in a graphic novel so they are introduced immediately. The reader is treated with respect and expected to make some assumptions about the family with lots of information being given within just a few pages. The drawings are very clever. Simple and very expressive, it's amazing how much can be understood by facial expressions. The author works well with the two languages, easily flipping between and never shying away from communication problems. It is particularly clever how conversations are illustrated with dialogue being taken in small chunks and the characters taking turns on the same pane. It is useful that we get to see thoughts as well as speech in order to more understand how the refugees, and those helping them, feel. Hope and despair are shown to be hand in hand, each coming in waves, effecting the individuals in many different ways. The greatest part of this story is that it is true and is wrapped into a large project to help refugees entering the US. Their story is told without holding back on the detail and, at all times, the families are treated with respect and dignity. There is never any temptation to exploit the story for dramatic effect which is pleasing to see.
The refugee’s story is always difficult, the leaving behind, the unknown new. Confusion, misunderstandings, doubts and fears. This is not the first book about Syrian refugees that I have read, and I have listened to other refugees tell their tales as well. I wonder where all the free stuff is from the federal government that I hear “ those people” get when they arrive. My own experience was with Russian immigrants over 20 yrs ago, and they didn’t get much then that was for sure. I have spoken with immigrants that claimed they were were from Lebanon and Syria, Mesopotamia, when they were all to afraid to say the word Iraq. Never easy.
I thought that this was going to be a well written story about this family. It is a cartoon story book. Please correctly advertise this book. What a waste of money and how sad to tell this families story like this.
This is a wonderful edition of what was a graphic series in the Sunday NYT a few years ago. It illustrates very well what the trials and tribulations of new arrivals to this country are due to misunderstandings and prejudice against people from the Middle East, in this case Syrians. A welcome additions to books about refugees who just want to be safe and hope for peace in their lives and that of their families.