How do you portray hope and redemption in a story about refugee crisis? How do you not show the refugees as victims when in reality they truly are the victims of the world’s wrongdoings. How can you depict subtlety and art in the midst of bomb explosions and deaths? Christy Lefteri has deftly handled the topic of refugees by taking us on this utterly emotional journey through the characters of Nuri and Afra; and without making it a slob-fest.
The story captures the beauty of Aleppo in Syria, through the lives of Nuri, a beekeeper and his wife Afra. The desert is as gorgeous as a river, according to Nuri. The book romanticises the science of beekeeping and you literally fall in love with the honey bees. However, Aleppo falls prey to the devastating Syrian Civil War (still ongoing) and the city soon becomes a remnant of death, destruction and darkness. Nuri and Afra find themselves at the crossroads of despair and gloom. Christy traces their journey from being respectable Syrian citizens to disreputable, unworthy, unwanted refugees; as they escape Aleppo, traveling through Istanbul, Laros, Athens, to London.
To tell a story about refugees, one can get consumed by the rightful depravity of the situation to the extent of almost celebrating it. However, Christy never once, lets the depravity do the talking. The deeply fractured yet humane souls of Nuri and Afra make this story nuanced, emotionally articulate and sensorial.
Christy, born to Cypriot refugee parents in London, has volunteered at a refugee center in Athens and through her interactions and experiences with the people there, has penned this deeply moving story. Many people never find redemption through such a crisis. They are lost to the world. It’s unsettling to note, that despite all of us being exactly the same; few of us have to live through this hellish experience and the lifelong tag of being a “refugee”.
Grab this book. It comes highly recommended.
On a sidebar, the ongoing corona virus pandemic has rendered the entire human race helpless and exposed. The virus has jumped borders and seas and infected humans of all races and ethnicities. Should we still then, be bothered about these man-made borders?
~ JUST A GAY BOY. 😷
One thought on “The beekeeper of Aleppo”
Very poignant question posed in the end of the review! 🙏🏽
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