Nujeen: One Girl's Incredible Journey from War-torn Syria

Nujeen: One Girl's Incredible Journey from War-torn Syria in a Wheelchair This book was co written by the same person who co wrote Malala s book It is an easy enough read to be suited to young adults but an interesting enough book to be read by adults as well It tells the story of teenage Nujeen, a Kurdish girl from Syria who also happens to have a form of cerebral palsy The book starts as she waits to board a boat to Lesbos in Greece but then goes back to her early days as the youngest child in a large family, spoiled by all because of her disability Her family l This book was co written by the same person who co wrote Malala s book It is an easy enough read to be suited to young adults but an interesting enough book to be read by adults as well It tells the story of teenage Nujeen, a Kurdish girl from Syria who also happens to have a form of cerebral palsy The book starts as she waits to board a boat to Lesbos in Greece but then goes back to her early days as the youngest child in a large family, spoiled by all because of her disability Her family lived in a fifth floor walk up apartment, so Nujeen rarely left her home Eventually her family moves to Aleppo because of fears for where they were living but life in Aleppo gradually gets worse and worse until her family makes a decision to send the younger family members to Germany where a brother lives Nujeen has never been to school but has watched enough television to teach herself English from watching Days of Our Lives among other shows She tells from her perspective how the war in Syria began and escalated and I personally came away with a much better understanding of the issues than I had before reading the book Each refugee faces their own unique challenges as they leave Syria for what they hope will be a better life Nujeen felt that relatively speaking, her journey was easier than that faced by others because of special care she received as a person with a disability All her life she had really defined herself by her disability and on reaching Germany and going to school for the first time she finally came to see herself as a person who could beindependent I think this would be a great book to have on a school reading list as it truly shows that a refugee is also a human being who loves and cares for others and who has hopes and dreams just as we all do I think I was expectingof a memoir than history not that I dislike history It just wasn t what I expected I d like to finish it though.I went back and finished this one and decided it is a 2.5 maybe even a solid 3 star I really like Nujeen but truthfully it seems as though some of this may not be 100% true Maybe I m wrong Did anyone else get that feeling though Almost put it under written by the C.I.A but decided that would be going a bit too far.Let me know what others thought of I think I was expectingof a memoir than history not that I dislike history It just wasn t what I expected I d like to finish it though.I went back and finished this one and decided it is a 2.5 maybe even a solid 3 star I really like Nujeen but truthfully it seems as though some of this may not be 100% true Maybe I m wrong Did anyone else get that feeling though Almost put it under written by the C.I.A but decided that would be going a bit too far.Let me know what others thought of this harrowing tale of escape across borders I fell in love with Nujeen Mustafa, like many did, when Last Week Tonight host John Oliver used BBC interview clips of the teenage Syrian refugee at a way station on the Serbian Hungarian border as she traveled to Germany with her sister She was so sweet and optimistic despite her unimaginably difficult journey and experiences in the war torn homeland she d fled And she was so unabashedly in love with Days of Our Lives, it was impossible not to be charmed by her And at the same time, heartbro I fell in love with Nujeen Mustafa, like many did, when Last Week Tonight host John Oliver used BBC interview clips of the teenage Syrian refugee at a way station on the Serbian Hungarian border as she traveled to Germany with her sister She was so sweet and optimistic despite her unimaginably difficult journey and experiences in the war torn homeland she d fled And she was so unabashedly in love with Days of Our Lives, it was impossible not to be charmed by her And at the same time, heartbroken for her separated from her parents, on the way to an unknown destination through difficult terrain in European countries that were often less than welcoming to the flood of refugees fleeing ISIS and war in the Middle East It s a situation incomprehensible for us in the West, and in the last years it s been the reality for thousands.Nujeen, a Kurd originally from Manbij in northern Syria, tells her story with eloquence and a wisdom that exceeds her years, plus a rare talent that many adults don t even have, of directly acknowledging her flaws and how she s trying to learn and grow It s clear she s had to grow up faster and differently than many her age, not only because of her life in the troubled Middle East but managing her physical struggles Born with cerebral palsy, she s confined to a wheelchair and tells in her memoir of the distance that disability created between her and other kids, even in her own family At the same time, it helped her illuminate a life of the mind instead Unable to easily leave her family s fifth floor apartment in Aleppo, she became a TV fanatic but a smart one, consuming documentaries on all kinds of topics but with a special preference for science, space and nature, and of course honing her English with the melodrama of Days.We learn a lot of what makes her tick she likes entrepreneurs Google s Sergey Brin, Apple s Steve Jobs and she doesn t like being deceived, whether that s by manipulated marketing or government propaganda It s in passages like these that so much of her exuberant, optimistic personality shines through, and like John Oliver said, she would enrich any country lucky enough to have her Her expression is certainly helped and shaped by co author Christina Lamb, the British journalist and foreign correspondent for the Sunday Times She s written extensively about current events in the Middle East and also collaborated with Malala Yousafzi on 2013 s I Am Malala Now living with two of her sisters in a suburb of Cologne and still awaiting her official asylum permission, Nujeen writes about new difficulties she faces, like the prejudice against refugees and the challenge of going to school after a lifetime of self education with TV documentaries at home But she s also had a lot of triumphs and been the recipient of small kindnesses shown to her and her sister, like a bag of chocolate from a German neighbor, or an iPad from fellow Days fans She s faradept than some people twice her age at taking the good with the bad, and making the best of situations that would ve broken others with her own brand of light, breezy philosophizing.When refugees began arriving on European shores, they were faceless Nujeen talks about this, pointing out the insensitivity of much of the language used to refer to them She forces us to confront this, and to see them individually, the same as everyone else It s not such a big request.I received an advance ebook copy for review courtesy of the publisher Such an incredible story The refugee crisis is so relevant, especially here in Germany, and it was eye opening to hear Nujeen s story of how she had to flee her country Syria in a wheelchair and how she settled here in Germany While being a fangirl of Days of Our Lives, hahah. How do you rate someone s life story This was a very interesting story of one person s escape from the war in Syria into Germany This situation is something I wish my country New Zealand would doabout and makeof an effort to understand myself included, so this was an important read in my opinion too. I want to put this book into the hands of every politician on the planet Nujeen is the face and spirit of Syrians forced out of their homes The abuse and obstacles she and her sister faced as they met barrier after barrier in their search for peace and rest.Let us show that we can learn from our mistakes and that we can take pride in doing the right thing, which is seeing refugees as people with the right to live anywhere they want. I have been to Lesbos It is one of the Greek Islands It was this island that 16 year old Nujeen Mustafa gets to in 2015 It is a tranquil island even though it is touristy and quite beautiful It was odd seeing the news at the time of Syrian refugees paying smugglers 1,500 each plus another 50 for a life jacket to get to that island The gateway to Europe Nujeen explains in the prologue that it was not just Syrians There were people from Iraq, Morocco and Afghanistan To be leaving all y I have been to Lesbos It is one of the Greek Islands It was this island that 16 year old Nujeen Mustafa gets to in 2015 It is a tranquil island even though it is touristy and quite beautiful It was odd seeing the news at the time of Syrian refugees paying smugglers 1,500 each plus another 50 for a life jacket to get to that island The gateway to Europe Nujeen explains in the prologue that it was not just Syrians There were people from Iraq, Morocco and Afghanistan To be leaving all you knew and had built up in your own country to make this dangerous uncertain journey, it must be bad 1.2 million refugees headed to Europe in 2015 Nujeen is a Kurd She was born with a type of cerebral palsy so all the above was done with her in a wheelchair and her sister, Nasrine, pushing and dragging her Incredible She provides a wonderful description of her life in the first few chapters and also the political turmoil at that time From the Arab Spring that started in Tunisia that sent a wave across North Africa and the Middle East Unlike Egypt the protestors in Syria were hit by Assad s tanks The family were living in Aleppo at this time but by July 2012 they had to leave The destruction got to close By the end of 2012 it seemed like the Battle of Aleppo would never end It was a full scale war where on one side there was Assad and Hezbollah and on the other all sorts of rebel groups including criminal gangs and Jabhat al Nusra also known as the al Nusra Front , which is the al Qaeda branch in Syria This is such a personal human story of a normal family trying not to get killed as brutal destruction engulfs everywhere they go After a while we got so used to the bombing that one day I realized I couldn t remember normal anyHer story to get to the promised land of Germany is captivating but not without humour along the way Unlike some refugees who paid smugglers for the whole journey, we were Pay as You Go Migrants It s like a crazy plane, trains and automobiles but with refugees.Syria, Turkey, Greece, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria and Germany I have probably missed some of the countries she passed through but it was an epic 3,500 mile journey Smugglers, con men, people that want to do you harm but also kind, caring people who would do anything to help you All of humanity in its grotesque and beauty is met along the way An amazing journey from a war torn home through the wilds of Europe A quite captivating read Slightly ranty review I think I need to stop reading memoirs.Nujeen s book certainly puts a face on the Syrian refugee crisis, but ugh, I feel like a total arse for saying this I didn t find it a particularly likeable one I think I expected another Malala, who after seeing her on TV had me absolutely mesmerised by her eloquence and maturity, but unfortunately I didn t find this in Nujeen Let s not mince around her situation is absolutely horrific, and what she and the millions of oth Slightly ranty review I think I need to stop reading memoirs.Nujeen s book certainly puts a face on the Syrian refugee crisis, but ugh, I feel like a total arse for saying this I didn t find it a particularly likeable one I think I expected another Malala, who after seeing her on TV had me absolutely mesmerised by her eloquence and maturity, but unfortunately I didn t find this in Nujeen Let s not mince around her situation is absolutely horrific, and what she and the millions of other refugees have gone though, nobody should have to endure, but in all honesty, and I don t exactly know how, she came off as whiny, selfish and entitled She even complained when her favourite show Days of Our Lives made a clip, just for her, with her favourite characters because it wasn t realistic She notes, many times, that refugees are people, not statistics, and this is something we all need to remember, however at the end of the book, states In some ways, I am glad that they blocked off the way and no one is coming anySeriously Are the refugees now stranded somehow less people than you are That was pretty much the final nail in the coffin for me with this.Funnily enough, although I adore Malala, I wasn t a fan of her book as it didn t feel like it was written by her This book, I didn t enjoy because it really felt like it was written by Nujeen I know, I know It felt clunky, disjointed and in need of editing or hey, a co writer Wait I will say one thing, there was a sentence in the book that absolutely resonated with meThis is the real world, and I wish I lived in a better one Agreed This memoir puts a different face on the Syrian refugee crisis Nujeen was born with cerebral palsy and has spent her life in a wheelchair She is a sixteen year old Kurdish girl and has very little formal education She taught herself English by watching U.S soap operas on television In 2014 her City, Koban, was the center of fighting between ISIS and the U.S backed Kurdish forces They escaped to Aleppo where they lived a few years and then fled to Turkey.Her sister Nisreen helped her and t This memoir puts a different face on the Syrian refugee crisis Nujeen was born with cerebral palsy and has spent her life in a wheelchair She is a sixteen year old Kurdish girl and has very little formal education She taught herself English by watching U.S soap operas on television In 2014 her City, Koban, was the center of fighting between ISIS and the U.S backed Kurdish forces They escaped to Aleppo where they lived a few years and then fled to Turkey.Her sister Nisreen helped her and they fled to the island of Lesbos in Greece This is where Fegal Keane of the BBC interviewed her They traveled by ferry and bus to the Serbian Hungarian border they arrived as it was closed to the refugees This is where the BBC again interviewed her They had to then walk to Croatia and on to Germany The sisters finally reached Germany and were reunited with brother Bland and sister Nahda She has asked Germany for Asylum She is attending a special school for pupils with disabilities She states that Germany and the German people have been kind to her She is learning German and making friends Her parents remain in Turkey.This is an uplifting story Nujeen faced many dangers and met life with a positive attitude I have great admiration for her sister Nisreen who took care of her on the trip The memoir was written with Christine Lamb who also co wrote I am Malala The courage of both these young women is amazing The memoir is clearly written and the details from life in Aleppo to the trek to Germany are dramatic This is a must read book for everyone of all ages.Raghad Chaar does an excellent job narrating the story Chaar is an actress and producer She is a graduate of The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and an audiobook narrator Prize winning journalist and the co author of smash New York Times bestseller I Am Malala, Christina Lamb, now tells the inspiring true story of another remarkable young hero Nujeen Mustafa, a teenager born with cerebral palsy, whose harrowing journey from war ravaged Syria to Germany in a wheelchair is a breathtaking tale of fortitude, grit, and hope that lends a face to the greatest humanitarian issue of our time, the Syrian refugee crisisFor millions around the globe, sixteen year old Nujeen Mustafa embodies the best of the human spirit Confined to a wheelchair because of her cerebral palsy and denied formal schooling in Syria because of her illness, Nujeen taught herself English by watching American soap operas When her small town became the epicenter of the brutal fight between ISIS militants and US backed Kurdish troops in , she and her family were forced to fleeDespite her physical limitations, Nujeen embarked on the arduous trek to safety and a new life The grueling sixteen month odyssey by foot, boat, and bus took her across Turkey and the Mediterranean to Greece, through Macedonia to Serbia and Hungary, and finally, to Germany Yet, in spite of the tremendous physical hardship she endured, Nujeen s extraordinary optimism never wavered Refusing to give in to despair or see herself as a passive victim, she kept her head high As she told a BBC reporter, You should fight to get what you want in this world Nujeen s positivity and resolve infuses this unforgettable story of one young woman determined to make a better life for herself Told by acclaimed British foreign correspondent Christina Lamb, Nujeen is a unique and powerful memoir that gives voice to the Syrian refugee crisis, helping us to understand that the world must change and offering the inspiration to make that change reality


About the Author: Nujeen Mustafa

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