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If you are anything like me you watch the news, see the pictures of the devastation in the Middle East, have maybe even been torn between the mounting fear of ISIS and how its our duty (no matter your country) as humans to aid other humans, such as the case with the Syrian refugees. But then you shut off your television, shut down your computer, and return to the bubble in which you live.

News today is fleeting, always rushing on to the next big story, and I- like many others- am guilty of having a short attention span as I scan to the next headline. And it’s not that I don’t take world issues to heart, it’s just that they seem so far away from the reality of my own world.  But this book took hold of me, refusing to let me divert my attention away. Self-published author, Asaad Almohammad, brilliantly weaves together stories that force the reader to come face to face with the difficult topics of radicalism, shaming of homosexuality, misogyny, and the Syrian crisis- just to name a few.

The main character of this book, Adam, is a bitter, cynical young man and a native of Syria living in Malaysia. Through his first hand accounts of growing up in Syria and relocating to another country, he shares with the reader his experience of witnessing the public shaming of women and homosexuality and rape, the ignorance and prejudices against him because of his dark skin and his Arabic background, and the struggle and helplessness of watching the destruction of his homeland from afar.

The author, through his remarkable narration, has successfully implanted vivid, haunting images in my mind that will be more long lasting that anything seen on CNN or any other major news outlet. Not only was this a captivating read, it was an eye opening experience that will stick with me for a long time to come.  I look forward to reading more from this author in the future.

 

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