A Refugee's Story of Love, Loss, & Survival

SUN, JAN 29, 2017 (41:48)

As Head of Communications for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Melissa Fleming hears plenty of terrible stories. But in her first book, A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea: One Refugee's Incredible Story of Love, Loss, & Survival, Flemming tells the story of Doaa Al Zamel, a young Syrian refugee in search of a better life. Doaa and her family leave war-torn Syria for Egypt where the climate is becoming politically unstable and increasingly dangerous. Tired of enduring harassment in Egypt, she decides to flee for Europe, joining the ranks of the thousands of refugees who make the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean on overcrowded and run-down ships to seek asylum overseas and begin a new life. After four days at sea, the boat is sunk by another boat filled with angry men shouting threats and insults. With no land in sight and surrounded by bloated, floating corpses, Doaa is adrift with a child’s inflatable water ring around her waist, while two little girls cling to her neck.

Photo: By Ggia - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0

+ BIO: Melissa Fleming

Melissa Fleming is Head of Communications and Chief Spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and one of the world’s experts on refugees. She is a frequent contributor for The New York Times, The Washington Post, CNN, and NPR. A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea is her first book.

Photo credit: Alessandra Thomsen

Partner
Harvard Book Store
Recommended Lectures