The long awaited book Sea Prayer, by globally acclaimed author Khaled Hosseini, hit the shelves in September 2018. The author is a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR, the United Nations Refugee Agency. He has dedicated the book to people who have lost their lives while seeking refuge from war. The proceeds generated by the book will be donated to facilitate better future for refugees.
The book is written as an illustrated poem. It takes the shape of a potent, heartbreaking letter by a refugee father to his son and marks the death anniversary of the three-year-old Syrian refugee, Alan Kurdi whose body washed up on a Turkish shore. The watercolour illustrations by Dan Williams tend to suggest the painful subject matter.
Sea Prayer begins with the father recounting the carefree time of his youth in Syria, sharing with his son while the later is asleep. He laments how those days feel like a long lost dream as the duo had to seek refuge due to the advent of war.
The two are waiting, on a cold shore under the moonlight along with other refugees, for a boat that they expect will carry them to a safe place. The narration ends with the father's prayer that if Allah wills, the sea will be merciful to his son, identifying him as precious cargo.
The book serves to highlight the despair of those people that risk their all in search of a safe harbour, and to garner empathy for their plight.
Khaled Hosseini, Sea Prayer. (New York: Riverhead Books, 2018): 48 pages.
A lecturer and lifestyle consultant by the day; an avid reader and writer by the night, I am a student of life.