By Chengnan Li //
If you are looking for a book that tugs at your heartstrings and gives you a real, raw depiction of human struggle, then I would recommend reading A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea. As a prominent spokesperson for the current refugee crisis, author Melissa Fleming delivers an account of the real-life, perilous journey that Doaa al-Zamel took as a refugee in search of a safe future. The author describes the numerous challenges that Doaa faced at a young age after being driven out of Syria by civil war and a brutal government campaign against rebel forces. Her family first fled to Egypt, but a change in presidency and growing anti-refugee sentiment created even more hardships for Doaa, and she left Egypt to take a dangerous boat ride to Europe.
The story of Doaa represents the voices of millions of Syrian refugees, but her character is truly special in the way that she is ordinary enough to compel sympathy, but extraordinary enough to be unforgettable. The intriguing plot and brought-to-life characterizations enable the reader to look beyond the bare statistics, giving you a strong perspective of the struggles that refugees face. In the hands of the right readers, the book can definitely change the mind of Westerners about the true intent and character of the foreign refugees who arrive in their country.