Nuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo - until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape. But what Afra has seen is so terrible she has gone blind, and so they must embark on a perilous
journey through Turkey and Greece towards an uncertain future in Britain. On the way, Nuri is sustained by the knowledge that waiting for them is Mustafa, his cousin and business partner, who has started an apiary and is teaching fellow refugees in Yorkshire to keep bees.
As Nuri and Afra travel through a broken world, they must confront not only the pain of their own unspeakable loss, but dangers that would overwhelm the bravest of souls. Above all - and perhaps this is the hardest thing they face - they must journey to find each other again.
Moving, powerful, compassionate and beautifully written, The Beekeeper Of Aleppo is a testament to the triumph of the human spirit. Told with deceptive simplicity, it is the kind of book that reminds us of the power of storytelling.
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Review This Product
Fri, 17 May 2019 | Review by: Breakaway R
Following the footsteps of refugees from a war-torn country
Nuri Ibrahim, his wife, Afra, and small son Sami lived in a one-bed bungalow on a hill overlooking the city of Aleppo. He had four beehives in the garden, and the rest were in a field on the outskirts of Aleppo, thirty miles away. Nuri used to wake early, before the sun, before the muezzin called out for prayer and drive to his bees. He would arrive as the sun was rising when the fields were full of light, and the humming of the bees was a single, pure note. His job was to care for the bees, nurture them, monitor the hives for infestations or poor health, build new hives, divide the colonies and raise queen bees – to keep them healthy and strong while they fulfilled their task of making honey and pollinating the land to keep the people of Aleppo alive. Nuri was the right man for the job because he had a sensitivity that most men lacked; he understood the rhythms and patterns of the bees, he listened to them and spoke to them as though they were one breathing body with a heart.
But the political situation in Syria was getting worse, and one night, late in the summer, vandals destroyed the hives by setting fire to them, and when Nuri and his cousin Mustafa arrived there in the morning the bees had all died, the field was black and the humming of the bees was replaced by silence – a deep, never-ending silence. When Sami was killed by a bomb, Nuri knew that it was time to leave and he and Afra set out on a terrible journey that took them to Istanbul, Greece and eventually to England where they are claiming asylum.
The author writes with a deep understanding of the horrors of refugee camps and the journey that steals your soul – leaving everything you know and hold dear to venture into the unknown, not knowing if asylum will be granted or not. I can fully identify with the characters as my family were also refugees, but we were fortunate that our journey was not as harrowing as Nuri and Afra’s plus I was too young to remember the horrors and my parents made an excellent job of shielding me from them as much as they were able. I just found the transition from present to past in the book a little confusing at times, hence the four stars and not five. But a book that I would definitely recommend to anyone!
Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review.
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