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Review: The Beekeeper of Aleppo

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Title: The Beekeeper of Aleppo
Author: Christy Lefteri

This is one of those books that is so poignant that it feels like it would be an injustice to share my thoughts on it. But, I will try nonetheless.

Where there are bees there are flowers, and wherever there are flowers there is new life and hope.

The Beekeeper of Aleppo.

We have come to live in a world so disenchanted by anything outside of our realities that we are alarmed by people and things which force us into uncomfortable positions. Anyone or anything which causes us to think differently feels alien and ultimately causes us to think of them as ‘other’.

Given names, faces, and stories, Lefteri skilfully crafts the characters of Nuri and Afra in order to introduce us to the reality of the Syrian refugees who we hear so often about as mere numbers and statistics. Inspired by her own experiences volunteering with UNICEF in the refugee camps of Athens, Lefteri takes us into a whole new world that we are usually unable to access through our current lens of the world and allows us to see the characters as real humans who, like ourselves, once lived very banal lives in the comfort of their own homes. In fact, their banal lives, though simple, were rich in love, in family, in friends, and in all the ways we fail to see in the capitalist-consumerist societies we find ourselves in here.

The Beekeeper of Aleppo teaches us a very simple lesson, life can change at any given moment but it is the choices that you make which define where you go from there.

This book isn’t filled with love, or hope, or inspiration. It is an honest (and chilling) reflection of humanity. It is the truth of not just Syrian refugees, but all those displaced from their homes for reasons beyond their control. It is the truth of the brokenhearted who are so deeply wounded and blinded by their losses that they can no longer carry themselves forward. It is the truth of each and every single person struggling to find their way back.

The Beekeeper of Aleppo has left a profound mark on my soul, and I hope you too will be able to navigate your way through this hauntingly, though-provoking novel. I leave you now with yet another one of my favourite quotes from this read.

Sometimes I think that if I keep walking, I will find some light, but I know that I can walk to the other side of the world and there will still be darkness. It’s not like the darkness of the night, which also has white light from the stars, from the moon. This darkness is inside me and has nothing to do with the outside world.

The Beekeeper of Aleppo.

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Ayesha Khanom

Sometimes a teacher, sometimes a student, but mostly caffeinated. This blog is a terrible attempt at writing out my thoughts - think of it as the 'comments, complaints, and suggestions' section of my brain. Nevertheless, I hope that some of these words will find a place in your heart and will stay with you even when I do not. If you'd like to get in touch, send me a message on Instagram or leave a comment on one of these posts and I'll get back to you at the best possible time.

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