In the humane tradition of Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers comes a searing account of the international refugee crisis.
the day of his son’s fourteenth birthday, Hashem al-Souki lay somewhere
in the Mediterranean, crammed in a wooden dinghy. His family was
relatively safe?at least for the time being?in Egypt, where they had
only just settled after fleeing their war-torn Damascus home three years
prior. Traversing these unforgiving waters and the treacherous terrain
that would follow was worth the slim chance of securing a safe home for
his children in Sweden. If he failed, at least he would fail alone.?
story is tragically common, as desperate victims continue to embark on
deadly journeys in search of freedom. Tracking the harrowing experiences
of these brave refugees, The New Odyssey finally illuminates the shadowy networks that have facilitated the largest forced exodus since the end of World War II.
first-ever migration correspondent, Patrick Kingsley has traveled
through seventeen countries to put an indelible face on this
overwhelming disaster. Embedding himself alongside the refugees,
Kingsley reenacts their flight with hundreds of people across the choppy
Mediterranean in the hopes of better understanding who helps or hinders
their path to salvation. From the starving migrants who push through
sandstorms with children strapped to their backs to the exploitive
criminals who prey on them, from the smugglers who dangerously stretch
the limits of their cargo space to the volunteers who uproot their own
lives to hand out water bottles?what emerges is a kaleidoscope of
humanity in the wake of tragedy. By simultaneously tracing the narrative
of Hashem, who endured the trek not once but twice, Kingsley memorably
creates a compassionate, visceral portrait of the mass migration in both
its epic scope and its heartbreaking specificity.
realities of this modern-day odyssey as well as the moral shortcomings
evident in our own indifference, the result is a crucial call to arms
and an unprecedented exploration of a world we too often choose not to