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.
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.