Flight from Syria: Refugee Stories, ed. Kem Knapp Sawyer


Flight from Syria: Refugee Stories is a collection of nonfiction articles by nine journalists about the Syrian refugee crisis. It is an ebook, and can be found for free on Amazon here. It addresses issues like foreign aid, refugee camps, assimilation into other countries, and the effect of the crisis on children, and because it is composed of articles, it includes many personal stories, interviews, and photographs. I especially liked the interviews and photos, which gave the information presented in the book a human, emotional connection, and prevented the more factual sections from becoming boring. I also appreciated the multiple perspectives on the crisis provided by the different writers. I would recommend this book to anyone as a useful resource for increasing awareness about critical current issues surrounding the refugee crisis — for instance, the measures taken by the US to bar refugees from entering the country, and the the plight of refugees living in overcrowded, under-funded camps and towns.

Even though this is a nonfiction book, it still explores many themes that might be found in novels, like the value of home, and the responsibility of people with privilege to help those who are less privileged. Because of this, aspects of the book that might seem intimidating (like the journalistic language and the frequent references to people, events, and places) are still manageable, since they are tied together by broad and timeless themes. Overall, then, I think Flight from Syria is a worthwhile read that is very relevant today, and can still be enjoyable for people who are usually less interested in nonfiction.

By: Anja Hendrikse Liu

Sawyer, Kem Knapp, ed. Flight from Syria: Refugee Stories. Washington, DC: Pulitzer Center, 2015. Web.