As educational as it is horrifically gut-wrenching, Melissa Fleming’s “A Hope More Powerful Than The Sea”, is sure to grab your soul and throw it on spin cycle. Fleming paints the Syrian landscape in broad beautiful strokes, while also honing in on the true story of one teenage girl, Doaa, as her beloved homeland is transformed from comfort into chaos.
Rebel With a Cause
Doaa was always obstinate, intent on receiving her education and living with purpose, despite strong cultural opposition. She had a dream of becoming a police officer, an official of justice concerned with doing good.
She knew what she wanted. It didn’t matter.
Everything changed in 2011 when protesters were shot and killed by the government; free speech silenced in the dusty streets of Deraa, Syria. Doaa joined the protests, disobeying the firm wishes of her family. She helped in any way she could, even squeezing lemons into the eyes of fellow protesters in order to remove the tear gas chemicals from their eyes. She was hunted. She was nearly shot. She did not desist.
Doaa was determined to fight for her country, even when forced under streams of bullets, through dangerous lands, over an all-encompassing sea, and across borders that might as well have been hundred foot walls. Doaa became a refugee in foreign lands, and still she did not desist.
A Face to the Struggle
This is the story of a people’s struggle for freedom and safe harbor. This is a refugee’s story. It is a story of love and loss, but more importantly it is a vivid snapshot of what one refugee must do to achieve her dreams in a world where there is little justice for those without a voice in the darkness.
Prepare to be flung into the tumultuous life of a Syrian refugee, a young girl silenced by injustice, yet filled with an unshakeable courage. Doaa is determined to protect the innocent life around her, but witnesses countless lives extinguished before her very eyes. Her journey is filled with loss, love, and a resiliency sure to inspire.
It’s time to pack your bags. There’s no going back. You won’t be the same at the end of this journey. The Syrian crisis now has a name, and that name is Doaa Al Zamel.
A must read. Raw and gripping, despite the journalistic approach to storytelling given by Fleming, UNHCR’s Head of Communication.
Where Do We Go From Here?
UNHCR (United High Commissioner for Refugees) is a great place to stay up to date and give financially. I actually worked one summer for UNHCR raising funds! That’s me below, circa 2012.
Serve Syrian refugees in your area by getting to know the ones in your community. Making someone feel welcome in a foreign place is powerful! Today, I was blessed to spend time at a refugee soccer tournament with refugees from all over the world. This is me with little E, rooting my team on to victory!
What do you think?
Comment below with ideas on how we can serve refugees! I would love to hear your ideas.
Source: MercyCorps (2016)