website statistics A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea: One Refugee's Incredible Story of Love, Loss, and Survival - PDF Books Online
Hot Best Seller

A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea: One Refugee's Incredible Story of Love, Loss, and Survival

Availability: Ready to download

Doaa and her family leave war-torn Syria for Egypt where the climate is becoming politically unstable and increasingly dangerous. She meets and falls in love with Bassem, a former Free Syrian Army fighter and together they decide to leave behind the hardship and harassment they face in Egypt to flee for Europe, joining the ranks of the thousands of refugees who make the da Doaa and her family leave war-torn Syria for Egypt where the climate is becoming politically unstable and increasingly dangerous. She meets and falls in love with Bassem, a former Free Syrian Army fighter and together they decide to leave behind the hardship and harassment they face in Egypt 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, their 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. Doaa must stay alive for them. She must not lose strength. She must not lose hope.


Compare

Doaa and her family leave war-torn Syria for Egypt where the climate is becoming politically unstable and increasingly dangerous. She meets and falls in love with Bassem, a former Free Syrian Army fighter and together they decide to leave behind the hardship and harassment they face in Egypt to flee for Europe, joining the ranks of the thousands of refugees who make the da Doaa and her family leave war-torn Syria for Egypt where the climate is becoming politically unstable and increasingly dangerous. She meets and falls in love with Bassem, a former Free Syrian Army fighter and together they decide to leave behind the hardship and harassment they face in Egypt 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, their 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. Doaa must stay alive for them. She must not lose strength. She must not lose hope.

30 review for A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea: One Refugee's Incredible Story of Love, Loss, and Survival

  1. 4 out of 5

    Mariah Roze

    I received this book for an honest review. I am so glad I agreed to reading this book, because this story was amazing!! I highly suggest this book to everyone!!!! This is a true story about a refugees' experiences and life trying to get freedom. Doaa and her family leave Syria due to all the fighting and go to Egypt. At first Egypt was a great move but then the country became politically unstable and increasingly dangerous. When in Egypt she meets her future fiancé Bassem. Who is former Free Syri I received this book for an honest review. I am so glad I agreed to reading this book, because this story was amazing!! I highly suggest this book to everyone!!!! This is a true story about a refugees' experiences and life trying to get freedom. Doaa and her family leave Syria due to all the fighting and go to Egypt. At first Egypt was a great move but then the country became politically unstable and increasingly dangerous. When in Egypt she meets her future fiancé Bassem. Who is former Free Syrian Army fighter and together they decide to leave behind the hardships they face in Egypt behind and flee for Europe. To do this they had to make the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean on overcrowded ships. Doaa deals with many more difficult situations on the ship and after! Read the book to find out what happens to her life!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Todd Coburn

    Wow. That is the word that still echoes in my head a half hour after reading her story. Deep sadness. That is the feeling in my heart for what Doaa and her family and loved ones had to endure. Anger. That is what wells up in my throat at people who would beseige a city of men, women and children and pummel them into submission simply because they are suspected of voicing their disapproval of their government. Rage. This is what I feel towards those who bully, threaten, intimidate and abuse people p Wow. That is the word that still echoes in my head a half hour after reading her story. Deep sadness. That is the feeling in my heart for what Doaa and her family and loved ones had to endure. Anger. That is what wells up in my throat at people who would beseige a city of men, women and children and pummel them into submission simply because they are suspected of voicing their disapproval of their government. Rage. This is what I feel towards those who bully, threaten, intimidate and abuse people perceived as weaker and/or more vulnerable than themselves. Doaa's story is a beautiful one, although desperately sad. Yet how many other such stories have bled to death alone in the dust, been murdered in alleys in some unnamed town, or gasped their last breath as the sea claims their hopes and dreams. When men and women act atrociously and prey on the innocent and weak, the righteous must stand and defend them. When people stand steadfast, indifferent and uncaring at the suffering of others before their very eyes, others must step forward to extend the love of God and the benevolence that should exude from mankind. Doaa's story is one that can open our eyes to see the beauty of a life rather than the cold print of another's circumstance. I suspect anyone with a heart can benefit from reading her story, and hope that it will open enough hearts so folks like Doaa can find shelter, comfort, happiness, and safety. This book is well written. It comes across as a narrarative tapestry rolling out at your feet. Once started, I found it difficult to set down until I had learned her fate. I am saddened that she lost so much in her journey, and pray that the Lord will bless her by drawing her close, and by giving her the desires of her heart in this life. I won this in a Goodreads Giveaway, and have provided an honest review. Thank you for the dear gift.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Loretta

    Doaa's story itself is heartbreaking and deserves to be told, there is no doubt about it. But I feel like Fleming was possibly the wrong person to tell it. There was a curious sense of detachment throughout most of the telling, as if the author was simply reciting a journalistic account. I don't know how else to describe it. I understand the passion that she felt for telling this story to bring to light the plight of refugees; I am certain that she cares deeply. Still, don't let my lower rating Doaa's story itself is heartbreaking and deserves to be told, there is no doubt about it. But I feel like Fleming was possibly the wrong person to tell it. There was a curious sense of detachment throughout most of the telling, as if the author was simply reciting a journalistic account. I don't know how else to describe it. I understand the passion that she felt for telling this story to bring to light the plight of refugees; I am certain that she cares deeply. Still, don't let my lower rating deter you...just know that if given the choice of books about the experience of refugees, this is maybe not the top choice. (For a different take on childhood affected by conflict in the Middle East, check out the autobiographical graphic novel 'Persepolis'. I think you will see the difference in how the author connects us to the story.)

  4. 4 out of 5

    Trish

    Doaa Al Zamel’s story of her rescue with two small children in her care after a ship rammed her boat filled with migrants fleeing Egypt fills us with horror and disbelief. Of a boat holding 500 people, eleven survived. Even before the cruelty of rival smugglers (I only assume that’s who they were), Doaa’s life was filled with harsh treatment and a constant threat of kidnapping or physical abuse at the hands of strangers. Forced to leave Syria as a seventeen-year-old when government forces starte Doaa Al Zamel’s story of her rescue with two small children in her care after a ship rammed her boat filled with migrants fleeing Egypt fills us with horror and disbelief. Of a boat holding 500 people, eleven survived. Even before the cruelty of rival smugglers (I only assume that’s who they were), Doaa’s life was filled with harsh treatment and a constant threat of kidnapping or physical abuse at the hands of strangers. Forced to leave Syria as a seventeen-year-old when government forces started targeting rebellious youth in her hometown of Daraa and outright killing townspeople and dumping their bodies, Doaa was sympathetic to the rebellion. The rebellion, however, was diffuse and never allowed to develop widely before government forces came down hard. The Al Zamel family fled first to Jordan and then to Egypt, where they were welcomed at first by the the local populace and by the Muslim Brotherhood, who were distributing food and blankets under the protection of the Morsi government. This Egypt piece of Doaa’s journey I didn’t want to skim over: I had so many questions about why young men were constantly asking for the girls hands in marriage, unless this was meant as a jibe, a joke, or a kind of harassment. Did Egyptians perceive Syrians as wealthier, more educated, or more sophisticated? If so, why? Why did I get the impression that Doaa looked down on the Egyptian locals? Was it just a cultural distance? When another young Syrian expatriate, Bessem, decided upon seeing Doaa that he wanted to marry her, I started feeling that distance one does when viewing another country’s cultural norms. This is so far from acceptable in the United States, despite Bessem’s friendliness and gift-giving to the family, that I was uncomfortable with the inevitability of it all. I understand the family was under duress. That is really the only condition under which such a decision to marry that man could be acceptable. Sure enough, shortly after agitating constantly and finally getting his way, Bessem, then insisted the two of them depart Egypt for either Syria or Europe. Doaa was emotionally coerced into accepting the decision to move, and I resent this, even from my distance of several years and many miles. That she later recalled this man as the great love of her life shows us how circumstances change perceptions. I resent that change in her emotional landscape, and can’t help but see it as a kind of dishonesty. However, placed next to all the other things in her experience, a kind of fake love is surely least awful. She had a horrific experience getting to Europe, and deserves all the support she can get. Or handle, really. When many countries combine their attention, it can be another kind of overwhelming horror. Doaa’s story reminds us how fragile is our careful calm construction of a life, and how easily it can be disrupted through no fault of our own. I recognize Doaa’s insistence that her destination be Sweden, despite Greece offering her a stipend and citizenship. Sweden was the original goal, and the confusion she, all alone, must have felt when all her constraints suddenly fell away must have been monumental. Now that she has many choices, instead of one uncertain one, which should she choose? Fleming’s retelling of Doaa’s options allows us to feel those uncertainties along with her. During all Doaa went through, she must have asked herself repeatedly if in fact she and Bessem really had “no choice” but to attempt a migrant illegal crossing. As sorry as I am for what their situation was in Egypt, I would have to conclude that in fact, it was their hope for a better, more prosperous existence with more opportunity that led them to attempt the crossing, not once but three times. They had a choice. After all, their parents and family stayed in Egypt. I understand conditions were bad in Egypt. I understand they had limited understanding of what went on outside their circle of family, friends, and acquaintances. But I am not sure they have the right to attempt to move to another country just because they want what that country offers its citizens. What reasonable people must ask themselves is how they can help communities torn apart by war or natural disaster. This kind of migration is humanity’s problem. It doesn’t have to be as deadly as it is at the moment. There may be solutions that address the root issues and do not require the kind of dangerous, deadly journey that Doaa passed through. In some ways her story tells of a kind of grim lottery. If one makes it through the gantlet of death, all kinds of benefits are bestowed upon one. That viewpoint, however, doesn’t take into account Doaa’s personal bravery to engage the world in this critical conversation about the best way to pursue one’s dreams. I’m quite sure she would rather have not gone through that horror, but sometimes we have…no choice. Doaa's story was translated twice, from Arabic to Greek and from Greek to English, before it became this book. This fact lends a little distance to the narrative that one must overcome to get at the real experience of this woman and millions like her. The really difficult task of organizing the material fell to Melissa Fleming, and of asking questions that readers like us wanted to know. I was especially grateful for her including things someone speaking of their own experience may not have included, e.g., what was the composition of the migrants on the boat, their ages and country of origin, who were the ones who rammed the boat (we never learned who they were, but their manner and words were included), the manner the ship went down, and all her time in Egypt, information which was supplemented by interviews with Doaa's mother and sisters. Doaa probably couldn't have done that on her own so soon after her ordeal.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Amanda Warner

    Wow. Heart wrenching. Powerful. Eye opening. I couldn't put this book down! If you want to put a face to the Syrian refugee crisis, read this book. It's a rare, close-up into the life of a Syrian refugee, Doaa, a brave young girl who survived insurmountable odds. This is a MUST READ. (Thank you, Doaa, for letting us hear your story. I wish you peace and healing.) Wow. Heart wrenching. Powerful. Eye opening. I couldn't put this book down! If you want to put a face to the Syrian refugee crisis, read this book. It's a rare, close-up into the life of a Syrian refugee, Doaa, a brave young girl who survived insurmountable odds. This is a MUST READ. (Thank you, Doaa, for letting us hear your story. I wish you peace and healing.)

  6. 4 out of 5

    aPriL does feral sometimes

    ‘A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea’ is a revealing insider story of a nineteen-year-old Syrian refugee - Doaa Al Zamel. Quoted from page 3: “Six-year-old Doaa couldn’t remember any moment when she’d ever been alone. She lived with her parents and five sisters in a single room in her grandfather’s two-story house. Her father’s three brothers and their families occupied the other rooms, and each moment of Doaa’s life was filled with relatives: She slept side by side with her sisters, ate communal me ‘A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea’ is a revealing insider story of a nineteen-year-old Syrian refugee - Doaa Al Zamel. Quoted from page 3: “Six-year-old Doaa couldn’t remember any moment when she’d ever been alone. She lived with her parents and five sisters in a single room in her grandfather’s two-story house. Her father’s three brothers and their families occupied the other rooms, and each moment of Doaa’s life was filled with relatives: She slept side by side with her sisters, ate communal meals, and listened to spirited conversations.” “The Al Zamel family lived in Dara, the largest city in the southwest of Syria, located just a few kilometers from the Jordanian border and about a two-hour drive south of Damascus. in 2001 when Doaa was six, it was famous for the bounty of fruits and vegetables the land yielded...” In February, 2011, graffiti “You’re next, Doctor” (referencing the news of the Arab Spring protests against many Muslim leaders in the Middle East, and directed at the leader of Syria) was sprayed on a schoolhouse wall. Some boys were arrested. Some were returned to their families either dead and/or tortured. Most were never heard from again. Protest marches were organized. Bashar al-Assad’s security forces responded with bullets and tear gas and beatings. The marches and protests continued. So tanks and bombs from fighter jets destroyed Dara, trapping the residents inside with roadblocks. Those with money and connections got out. The Al Zamel family, except for two older married sisters, ended up in Egypt after many scary close-calls. At first Egypt was welcoming, but after the Muslim Brotherhood was overthrown, attacks and threats against the Syrian refugees began to increase. Doaa eventually accepted a marriage proposal from another Syrian, Bassem, who was obsessed with her. Bassem was also obsessed with the war in Syria and the lack of opportunities for work in Egypt. He wanted to go fight in the Syrian war, or go to Italy in a smuggler’s boat. So, after much thought, Doaa and Bassem bought space in a smuggler’s boat to be delivered to Italy in 2014. They were rammed by another boat. Everyone, 500 people, with women children and babies, were dumped into the ocean. Gentle reader, I have simplified Doaa’s story a great deal. The book actually describes in deeper detail daily life in Syria for the Al Zamel family over a period of several years which gives readers some idea of Syrian culture and family life for the working poor. After we are acquainted with what normal was for Syrians, the author describes how the protesters and the Syrian government clashed with increasing escalation of violence. A third of the way into the book describes the family’s stressful escape into Egypt. After explaining about the life of Syrian refugees in Egypt, the last third of the book describes the horrific boat ride of Doaa and Bassem across the Mediterranean. The book reads as if for eighth graders, but it is very informative. Many incidents personally experienced by Doaa in the narrative are fraught with danger, horror and death, and they are similar to news stories about refugees reported on BBC and CNN. The text has been put together after interviews with Doaa were translated with many interpreters - Arabic, Greek, English. Melissa Fleming, the author of this book, is the chief spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and most of the proceeds of the book will be donated to support refugees. While I was moved by Doaa’s sufferings and losses, I found myself cringing and wincing at the social expectations of many men and women in her travels in Islamic cultures, and at the utter claustrophobia induced in me by the large families living together. So many married brothers sisters cousins aunts uncles and all of their dozens and dozens of children underfoot all sleeping, eating and gossiping in a crowded mass of bodies packed together under one roof (picking at each other’s behavior depending on their hierarchical position of owed respect) hour after hour, day after day - I couldn’t stop shuddering. Frankly, Islamic culture horrifies me in many ways, but mostly in regards to its rigid religious behavioral strictures and its built-in legal treatment of its virtually enslaved women. In all kinds of ways women are bound to their houses by fear - of their in-laws, their neighbors, parents, husbands, religious police, roving young men looking for ‘loose’ un-Islamic or unmarried women simply walking down a street to go shopping. Many Islamic women defend the freedoms they may have under Islam, depending on the Muslim country they live in - but if more questions are asked, their freedoms often exist because a husband or father or brother has given them permission to work, go to school, drive, shop. Any ‘freedom’ has come from whims of permission allowed by husband or father or brother, or even a son. The freedom is usually only permitted if the woman is leaving the house to attend an all female gathering, workplace, gym or business! And omg, dating! Often dating is forbidden unless a marriage has been previously discussed and sanctioned by Father and mother beforehand. Often they can’t even hold hands, sit together, or ffs, even LOOK at each other in the face! To a Westerner such as myself, Islamic ‘dating’ is pure evil - it is only a religiously sanctioned exercise expected to lead only to a medieval marriage of rape of underage females under the flag of Islamic ‘tradition’. To me, this is bad. The men could sanction either the chaining of women to beds and kitchens at age 15 and forever thereafter or until ten boy-children have been produced, whichever comes first, or perhaps be persuaded to ALLOW their women to work or go to school. Yuck and ick and ewwwww. Do not be expecting me to endorse the Muslim religion any time soon. Doaa flouted Islamic strictures about female behavior when she was a young teen to some degree, probably because of the ‘Arab Spring’ breaking down social customs, but when she grew up, it was more difficult for her. (view spoiler)[She states she ‘loved’ Bassem, but I do not believe it. She supposedly is translated as having said she was pressured for a long time to ’love’ Bessam, and then she actually did after their dreadful trip across the Mediterranean, but I think it is PTSD and survival guilt. (hide spoiler)] As similar in human feeling as we all are, culture REALLY is a great divide sometimes. Bridging enormous differences on the roles of women, family life, marriage, and the nature of what is respectful and what is owed and to whom, seem almost impossible to me. Especially the rules in a rigidly gendered society with rigid iron-bound customs - with penalties of death for what is harmless to Westerners - long hair on men, shaving, tattoos, mixed couple dancing, sitting with a foot up on a knee, wearing shorts, sitting at a table with both unmarried men and women, having sex whether the same gender or not, married or not, converting from Islam to Christianity, etc. - omg, you wouldn’t believe what behaviors many Islamic countries think is punishable by death or long prison sentences. Punishments involve real whipping, severe beatings with pipes or sticks, cutting off hands and feet, beheading and stoning. For Middle-Eastern Muslim refugees (or Asian) to adjust to living with the rules in democracies with a mostly ‘anything goes’ ethos (as long as no one is hurt or is forced) will require enormous tolerance and personal work at educating oneself, I’m afraid. As much as my heart hurts for those caught up in wars and as much as I hope lives can be saved, while those Westerners who can must help where and when we can, I suspect Muslims helping Muslims will comfort and understand refugees best. Unfortunately, I can’t say I have seen very many Muslim theocracies helping much, and when they have, it usually is a case of Sunnis supporting Sunnis while murdering (either through depraved indifference or actual murder) the Shi’a, and vice versa, while everybody in the mainstream Muslim faiths murder whatever smaller Muslim sects they come across. In my opinion, Muslims need to help each other more. Westerners only seem to insult, and ultimately, enrage practicing Muslims with our lack of understanding of their culture. I, for one, cannot make myself respect their attitudes on what I see as a religion of female enslavement, a religion which teaches it is being beneficial to women through enslaving them, and I never will. Never. A sign of my own repugnance and inability to overcome my own abhorrence of aspects of Muslim customs about women is that in reading this book, I was distracted from Doaa’s tragedy whenever the aspects of female life under Islam were described. Reader, no matter how liberal I am, in real life these enormous cultural differences caused by practicing Muslim families and in the forcing of a restrictive life on conservative Muslim women is nearly impossible for me to bridge over personally. I cannot understand how women embrace conservative Islam at all. To me, the strictures demanded of Muslim women is absolutely insane. I think Muslim women must have the choice to live free of ALL male advice if she so chooses, to be able to grow old without ever having married if she wants not to marry, or to have kids or not whether married or not, and be able to wear shorts in hot 100F weather with their hair blowing freely in the wind wherever they like. If adult women want to swear, drink, dance, work, mix with men, then so let her be. In modern Christian and Western countries, we have learned to cherry-pick religious beliefs and rules as well as ignore most of the more ridiculous handicapping rules we now know were written by misogynistic males millennia ago. Muslim certainly need to begin doing this as well, and accept that women should be able to live as free as men. Western women have contributed much to society in science, business, and engineering, and in reducing child mortality and in increasing the quality of family life, primarily by being educated and a true partner in marriage. When it comes to the equality of women and men, I am hardcore. I really do not care about considering any opinions or feelings of folks who believe women ‘have a special place’ serving humanity by being enslaved to men whether enforced by religion or law or culture.

  7. 5 out of 5

    David

    5.0 This is why I read. I want the books I read to change me or move me in some way and this one accomplished both of those things. I have always been a big supporter of people who are displaced and seeking asylum, but after reading this book the word refugee will never have the same meaning for me. This book was heart-wrenching, moving and yet was also very informative. This is a book that anyone interested in current events such as the war in Syria, the ramifications of the Arab Spring, and th 5.0 This is why I read. I want the books I read to change me or move me in some way and this one accomplished both of those things. I have always been a big supporter of people who are displaced and seeking asylum, but after reading this book the word refugee will never have the same meaning for me. This book was heart-wrenching, moving and yet was also very informative. This is a book that anyone interested in current events such as the war in Syria, the ramifications of the Arab Spring, and the refugee crisis should read, but more importantly it is a book about love, family and the will of the human spirit.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Joy D

    Doaa Al Zamel, a young Syrian woman, encountered horrors at sea after enduring wartime violence in Syria, fleeing to Egypt, and attempting to reach Europe. Doaa’s family wanted to stay in Syria, where they endured food shortages and unsafe conditions, but when the bombing started, they fled to Egypt. At first, they were welcomed, but their situation worsened when anti-refugee sentiments spread across the region. Doaa and her fiancé decided to seek a better life in Europe, traveling by sea in spi Doaa Al Zamel, a young Syrian woman, encountered horrors at sea after enduring wartime violence in Syria, fleeing to Egypt, and attempting to reach Europe. Doaa’s family wanted to stay in Syria, where they endured food shortages and unsafe conditions, but when the bombing started, they fled to Egypt. At first, they were welcomed, but their situation worsened when anti-refugee sentiments spread across the region. Doaa and her fiancé decided to seek a better life in Europe, traveling by sea in spite of her deep-seated fear of water. They, perhaps naively, trusted their safety to smugglers. It is a story of fear, cruelty, and deprivation. I think it is a story worth telling and worth reading. It will help readers gain an appreciation for the plight of Syrian refugees. Unfortunately, the writing does not flow well. It is focused on Doaa’s personal story but covers more of what happened than why. For example, there is a long section on her courtship, which was told in a repetitive manner and could have used more cultural context. I would have also liked more details about the political situation in both Syria and Egypt.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kate

    Im astounded by all the high ratings. A very interesting story, but poorly told. I would probably read another authors rendition of Doaa's story. Frankly, Fleming's sucked. It was as though she had written it for children. Bassem (fiancé) seemed manipulative to me. I did not find him romantic one bit. I was horrified by the cruelty of those who purposely destroyed the boat and killed people for fun. They'd probably get on well with Trump. "The simple truth is that refugees would not risk their lives Im astounded by all the high ratings. A very interesting story, but poorly told. I would probably read another authors rendition of Doaa's story. Frankly, Fleming's sucked. It was as though she had written it for children. Bassem (fiancé) seemed manipulative to me. I did not find him romantic one bit. I was horrified by the cruelty of those who purposely destroyed the boat and killed people for fun. They'd probably get on well with Trump. "The simple truth is that refugees would not risk their lives on such a dangerous journey if they could thrive where they were"

  10. 4 out of 5

    Catherine

    I was hesitant to read this book, but I'm glad I did. Seeing the Syrian conflict and resulting refugee crisis from the perspective of one family and one young woman in particular, made the situation clear and more poignant. It's a story that I think everyone needs to hear. The shorter version can be found in the TED talk that lead to Ms. Fleming's book: https://www.ted.com/talks/melissa_fle... A few things are different (I'm assuming she uncovered different information as she interviewed furthur p I was hesitant to read this book, but I'm glad I did. Seeing the Syrian conflict and resulting refugee crisis from the perspective of one family and one young woman in particular, made the situation clear and more poignant. It's a story that I think everyone needs to hear. The shorter version can be found in the TED talk that lead to Ms. Fleming's book: https://www.ted.com/talks/melissa_fle... A few things are different (I'm assuming she uncovered different information as she interviewed furthur people for her book research) and most of Doaa's personal story is not contained in the TED talk. The writing is not amazing, but then Ms. Fleming is a humanitarian, not a professional writer. The passage of time was often unclear to me, especially during Doaa's teenage years living in Egypt. And sometimes the phrasing was confusing and/or overdramatic. But with a book like this, the writing isn't really the point.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sheri Vincent

    I was a Goodread winner for this book. The journey of Doaa (and her family) is amazing and heart wrenching. I cannot imagine what it would be like to live in fear every day and the horror of everything this family has had to endure. To top everything.........was the horror of Doaa being in the sea for so long surrounded by death and watching her best friend/fiancée die. There is no way I can even comprehend such a horrific act. I am truly honored to have read this story. I am in awe of the coura I was a Goodread winner for this book. The journey of Doaa (and her family) is amazing and heart wrenching. I cannot imagine what it would be like to live in fear every day and the horror of everything this family has had to endure. To top everything.........was the horror of Doaa being in the sea for so long surrounded by death and watching her best friend/fiancée die. There is no way I can even comprehend such a horrific act. I am truly honored to have read this story. I am in awe of the courage and strength of this women. After reading this book, I view the Syrian refugee problem with a different sense. Everyone should read this book.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ain Ashura

    "I think that the most vulnerable people on earth are also the most resilient people on earth. They're incredible survivors. If you give them a little bit - and that's all their asking, not just shelter and food, but the dignity of being able to restart their lives - and you have a very powerful group of people who are interested in peace, they're interested in going back and rebuilding their country and contributing to where they are." "I think that the most vulnerable people on earth are also the most resilient people on earth. They're incredible survivors. If you give them a little bit - and that's all their asking, not just shelter and food, but the dignity of being able to restart their lives - and you have a very powerful group of people who are interested in peace, they're interested in going back and rebuilding their country and contributing to where they are."

  13. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    Today, Thanksgiving in the USA, I do realize how much I have for which to be thankful. And I did learn much from reading this book, especially about the plight of the refugees of Syria and the need to address this massive humanity issue. And let's just hope President Trump does the right thing. But back to the book: when Doaa and Bassem are told by a smuggler they will be taken aboard a cruise liner for their trip from Egypt to Italy: I had 3 thoughts: 1) the smuggler is lying, how can Doaa and Today, Thanksgiving in the USA, I do realize how much I have for which to be thankful. And I did learn much from reading this book, especially about the plight of the refugees of Syria and the need to address this massive humanity issue. And let's just hope President Trump does the right thing. But back to the book: when Doaa and Bassem are told by a smuggler they will be taken aboard a cruise liner for their trip from Egypt to Italy: I had 3 thoughts: 1) the smuggler is lying, how can Doaa and Bassem , who seem rather intelligent, possibly believe this guy, why I wanted to scream "Run the other way, fast!" and 2) there will have to be three attempts and maybe they will make it on the third attempt, because that's the magic number in thriller films and books and yes, of course, there are three attempts but I won't say who makes it and who doesn't. (You'll figure that out from the book jacket blurbs and the opening lines of the book anyway) and 3) yes, absolutely, those magic portals from "Exit West" (which tells much the same story but on a fantasy level) would come in real handy for Doaa and Bassem. When Bassem buys rat poison to kill himself because Dooa won't marry him, and Dooa's mother takes it away from Bassem then has a nervous breakdown over the whole issue, I was thinking maybe this did happen somewhere (Telemundo?), somehow, but maybe, just maybe, parts of this book come from a combination of stories. And when the author goes to great lengths (Author's Notes at the end of the book) to convince us every word is true, I couldn't help but think Shakespeare's "thou protesteth too much" idea. But in non-fiction, every word can't be true, every word from every conversation can't be perfectly recalled if not recorded or written down at the time, we all know that. Still, this is a refugee story that is heartbreaking at times, and is indeed a wake up call to the people of the world who aren't paying attention to this massive, horrendous issue. Sadly, oh so sadly, the world pretty much turned it's back on the Holocaust, and we just don't seem to learn lessons from history.

  14. 5 out of 5

    enqi ☁️✨

    The perilous journey refugees take in order to reach safety in Europe often leads to despair and death. But we put our lives in the hands of cruel and merciless smugglers because we have no other choice. We have been confronted with the horrors of war and the indignity of losing our homes. Our only wish is to live in peace. We are not terrorists. We are human beings just like you. We have hearts that feel, yearn, love, and hurt. Harrowing and gripping, A Hope More Powerful than the Sea is a The perilous journey refugees take in order to reach safety in Europe often leads to despair and death. But we put our lives in the hands of cruel and merciless smugglers because we have no other choice. We have been confronted with the horrors of war and the indignity of losing our homes. Our only wish is to live in peace. We are not terrorists. We are human beings just like you. We have hearts that feel, yearn, love, and hurt. Harrowing and gripping, A Hope More Powerful than the Sea is a biography chronicling the story of Doaa Al Zamel, a 19-year-old female Syrian refugee. Doaa was one of the few survivors on a ship carrying hundreds of refugees, and even managed to save a small child with her as well. This story is a testament to her tenacity and strength. Reading this book was definitely an eye-opener. Through reading it, I learned so much more about the Syrian refugee crisis, something I hadn't known much about until after finishing the book. It made me appreciate and be grateful for all the things in everyday life that I would usually take for granted, such as: abundant food, clean water, electricity, snug clothes, being able to walk on the streets of my city and feel safe, and so on. I couldn't imagine living without these things, and that is the exact reason why I felt for the refugees. There is a gripe I had about this book that decidedly affected my rating. I felt the book would have been more heartfelt and evocative had it been an autobiography written by Doaa herself. Without firsthand experience, Melissa Fleming's account seems merely like a narrator relating events. This is understandable since the author would not want to risk sounding biased, but it makes the book lose its emotional element and risks it sounding very apathetic, hence losing the connection with the reader. When I was reading I felt like despite everything heartbreaking that was happening in the book, I didn't feel the devastation and frustration Doaa felt at all because the author described it so coldly. I didn't feel the way I should have felt while reading a refugee story. However, I am definitely grateful I got the chance to read this book. Don't let my rating affect you, because different people interpret the tone of the text differently! This story is for sure something you should pick up regardless, if only to hear the perspective of one of the unfortunate people caught in the war for Syria.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    Very heart-wrenching story. Interesting insight into the lives of others less fortunate. Kudos to Doaa for her resiliency. 3.5 stars .... the story was riveting and important to read, but the writing wasn't superb. Very heart-wrenching story. Interesting insight into the lives of others less fortunate. Kudos to Doaa for her resiliency. 3.5 stars .... the story was riveting and important to read, but the writing wasn't superb.

  16. 5 out of 5

    May Massijeh

    The power of storytelling .... When you give the crisis a face ... a personality .... a character ... the way you see the world will never be the same.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Kristen

    Wow. This book is hard to read because of the difficult circumstances of Doaa, and so many modern refugees. It is an amazing story that really explains what is happening in Syria.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Omar

    Very sad and depressing, but this book taught me to thank God for what he has given me and be grateful. I also have a newfound respect for refugees.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cori

    wow. I'm glad I read this book but it unfortunately is just one of so many sad and horrible stories from Syria. The scary part is that parts of the book matches stories told by my students. (Thankfully not the boat escape)I'm learning so much from them and their resilience is amazing just like Doaa's in the book. I feel honored to have won this book in a Goodreads giveaway. wow. I'm glad I read this book but it unfortunately is just one of so many sad and horrible stories from Syria. The scary part is that parts of the book matches stories told by my students. (Thankfully not the boat escape)I'm learning so much from them and their resilience is amazing just like Doaa's in the book. I feel honored to have won this book in a Goodreads giveaway.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Kolumbina

    My first book about Syrian refugees. What a shocking story. Couldn't stop reading it. Especially the part in the water... Learned a lot about Syria, Syrian people, habits, life, love, survival... The most beautiful thing is how much all those people who had to leave miss Syria and their life there. It was so much different to live somewhere else compared to your homeland. No real friends, especially not when people in Egypt started to experience political instability, employment problems... Great! My first book about Syrian refugees. What a shocking story. Couldn't stop reading it. Especially the part in the water... Learned a lot about Syria, Syrian people, habits, life, love, survival... The most beautiful thing is how much all those people who had to leave miss Syria and their life there. It was so much different to live somewhere else compared to your homeland. No real friends, especially not when people in Egypt started to experience political instability, employment problems... Great!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Kitty B

    If the bricks and mortar of the fallen cities of Syria, the grains of sand on the beaches of Egypt and the water of the Mediterranean could speak, this is one of the stories they might tell. For they have borne witness to the plight of hundreds of thousands of refugees like Doaa. But hers is a unique story of courage and perseverance in the face of so much conflict, destruction and loss. This book is written by the chief spokesperson for the UNHCR and is also an interesting insight into the work If the bricks and mortar of the fallen cities of Syria, the grains of sand on the beaches of Egypt and the water of the Mediterranean could speak, this is one of the stories they might tell. For they have borne witness to the plight of hundreds of thousands of refugees like Doaa. But hers is a unique story of courage and perseverance in the face of so much conflict, destruction and loss. This book is written by the chief spokesperson for the UNHCR and is also an interesting insight into the work of organizations charged with alleviating the refugee crisis.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kristina

    This is a MUST read. I have read fiction pieces about the struggles of leaving warring countries, of being refugees. But this nonfiction piece hit home. I know students and friends with these names. I know students and friends who have family members who have walked this road. If you want to understand? READ.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Becki Iverson

    The Syrian refugee crisis is definitely one of the defining moments of our times, and I think history is going to judge the world quite harshly for how little we've done to help the people fleeing crisis in Syria. This book is wonderful because it gives such a close look inside the crisis and truly humanizes it through Doaa's story. I wish this had been told by Doaa herself rather in third person - it feels a little disingenuous to have such a narrative told through the filter of a Western autho The Syrian refugee crisis is definitely one of the defining moments of our times, and I think history is going to judge the world quite harshly for how little we've done to help the people fleeing crisis in Syria. This book is wonderful because it gives such a close look inside the crisis and truly humanizes it through Doaa's story. I wish this had been told by Doaa herself rather in third person - it feels a little disingenuous to have such a narrative told through the filter of a Western author - but the essence of what Doaa has suffered (and now triumphed over) really comes through this book. This book also does a great job of tracing back the beginning of the war in Syria to small events and shows how little things can add up to make a huge difference in international politics. The Arab Spring was an entirely different phenomenon for those who experienced it firsthand than it was for those of us who observed it in the West, and there were definitely some drawbacks to it. Doaa's brave story is so important, and I hope a lot of people pick this book up. I don't want to call it inspiring, because it's horrifying and I don't think we should glorify suffering or somehow legitimize what Doaa went through as a thing to be aspired to - but that does not mean that Doaa's inimitable spirit and determination to find a different life aren't incredibly uplifting, especially considering the circumstances. Doaa, and the millions of other Syrians like her, are real heroes. Definitely a great read for those of us in the West who have been sitting this one out on the sidelines; we owe it to everyone who has drowned crossing the Mediterranean or been shot by their own government to listen to their stories, at the very least.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I really struggled with what rating to give this book. Doaa's story is heartbreaking and deserves to be told to the world. But the writing was terrible. I had to double check Goodreads to make sure I hadn't checked out a book intended for a Young Adult audience- I hadn't. There is no emotion behind the writing; it's almost cold. I struggled to get into this book, but I am glad I stuck with it. "The simple truth is that refugees would not risk their lives on such a dangerous journey if they could I really struggled with what rating to give this book. Doaa's story is heartbreaking and deserves to be told to the world. But the writing was terrible. I had to double check Goodreads to make sure I hadn't checked out a book intended for a Young Adult audience- I hadn't. There is no emotion behind the writing; it's almost cold. I struggled to get into this book, but I am glad I stuck with it. "The simple truth is that refugees would not risk their lives on such a dangerous journey if they could thrive where they were"

  25. 5 out of 5

    Chinook

    This was ridiculously hard to read. The story of a Syrian refugee who, in an attempt to escape to Europe, ends up nearly dying in a shipwreck and struggling to save two little girls, the same ages as my daughters. It's heartbreaking. If I had a way to make everyone in the west read this book, I would. People desperately need to be able to see refugees as people with tragic and difficult stories, as people who need our help. This was ridiculously hard to read. The story of a Syrian refugee who, in an attempt to escape to Europe, ends up nearly dying in a shipwreck and struggling to save two little girls, the same ages as my daughters. It's heartbreaking. If I had a way to make everyone in the west read this book, I would. People desperately need to be able to see refugees as people with tragic and difficult stories, as people who need our help.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    Because the suffering and despair that push refugees to flee their homes and risk their lives can only be tremendous, it is expected that a book memorializing the story of one such woman must be harrowing. Doaa Al Zamel’s is exactly that, but it is also an incredibly accessible primer on what life was like in part of Syria before the war started, the excitement that the Arab Spring brought, and the realities of suffering that families and communities have been made to endure both in the war zone Because the suffering and despair that push refugees to flee their homes and risk their lives can only be tremendous, it is expected that a book memorializing the story of one such woman must be harrowing. Doaa Al Zamel’s is exactly that, but it is also an incredibly accessible primer on what life was like in part of Syria before the war started, the excitement that the Arab Spring brought, and the realities of suffering that families and communities have been made to endure both in the war zone but also in the places they have run to for safety. Melissa Fleming takes dozens of hours of interviews a well as other primary resources surrounding Doaa’s life and her ordeal in the Mediterranean Sea in order to make the point that not only is this suffering happening, that we are all criminally negligent (my wording) in our overall lack of response and follow through to this humanitarian need. It has become too easy to get caught up in to what the war has metastasized into; and not look into the great crevasse of need it has created. Full review: www.faintingviolet.wordpress.com/2018...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Mallory

    You have no idea how good you have it. No idea. Read this book, be inspired and heartbroken by Doaa's story, and remember to never lump a group of people into one category just because it's the easiest thing to do. Favorite quotes: "The government she had grown up wanting to serve as a policewoman was now shooting its own people, the people from her grandfather's neighborhood. She realized that everything she'd grown up believing about her country was wrong." "Catching her breath, Doaa was surpr You have no idea how good you have it. No idea. Read this book, be inspired and heartbroken by Doaa's story, and remember to never lump a group of people into one category just because it's the easiest thing to do. Favorite quotes: "The government she had grown up wanting to serve as a policewoman was now shooting its own people, the people from her grandfather's neighborhood. She realized that everything she'd grown up believing about her country was wrong." "Catching her breath, Doaa was surprised to realize that despite the bullet's having just buzzed past her, she was not afraid. She wondered if she was becoming immune to fear." "As the days stretched forward, a kind of solidarity formed among the passengers... There was no sectarian, religious, or ethnic division here, just people trying to help each other get through the day."

  28. 4 out of 5

    BookTrib.com

    Perhaps no one knows the meaning of resilience more than Doaa Al Zamel. As a Syrian refugee in an unstable Egypt, she was forced to run once the Egyptian government collapsed—but this time, she set her sights on Europe. A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea is an unbelievable story of incredible strength. For our entire review, and books similar to this one, click here! https://booktrib.com/2017/07/9-inspir... Perhaps no one knows the meaning of resilience more than Doaa Al Zamel. As a Syrian refugee in an unstable Egypt, she was forced to run once the Egyptian government collapsed—but this time, she set her sights on Europe. A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea is an unbelievable story of incredible strength. For our entire review, and books similar to this one, click here! https://booktrib.com/2017/07/9-inspir...

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kara Belden

    This is the most heart-wrenching, traumatic story I’ve ever read. The story of this woman’s strength ripped my heart wide open for 100 pages. I could barely keep reading it at moments. It was too much to bear, and I wasn’t the one living through these horrors, just reading about them was traumatic. I will never forget this story. Whenever I hear the word refugee, I will think of Doaa. Any time Syria is mentioned, I will think of Doaa. Any time the Mediterranean Sea is mentioned, I will think of This is the most heart-wrenching, traumatic story I’ve ever read. The story of this woman’s strength ripped my heart wide open for 100 pages. I could barely keep reading it at moments. It was too much to bear, and I wasn’t the one living through these horrors, just reading about them was traumatic. I will never forget this story. Whenever I hear the word refugee, I will think of Doaa. Any time Syria is mentioned, I will think of Doaa. Any time the Mediterranean Sea is mentioned, I will think of Doaa.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Arlene

    Such a powerful, heartbreaking story. A harrowing insight into the trauma that pushes refugees to flee their homes and the horrors they suffer in doing so. I really wish the editorial board of the Daily Mail could be made to read this.

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.