The Girl From Aleppo
Previously published as ‘Nujeen’
‘She is our hero. Everyone must read her story. She will inspire you’ Malala Yousafzai
An inspiring tale of a young disabled girl and her escape from the hell of war.
Nujeen Mustafa has cerebral palsy and cannot walk. This did not stop her braving inconceivable odds to travel in her wheelchair from Syria in search of a new life. Sharing her full story for the first time, Nujeen recounts the details of her childhood and disability, as well as the specifics of her harrowing journey across the Mediterranean to Greece and finally to Germany to seek an education and the medical treatment she needs.
Nujeen's story has already touched millions and in this book written with Christina Lamb, bestselling co-author of ‘I Am Malala’, she helps to put a human face on a global emergency.
Trapped in a fifth floor apartment in Aleppo and unable to go to school, she taught herself to speak English by watching US television. As civil war between Assad's forces and ISIS militants broke out around them, Nujeen and her family fled first to her native Kobane, then Turkey before they joined thousands of displaced persons in a journey to Europe and asylum. She wanted to come to Europe, she said, to become an astronaut, to meet the Queen and to learn how to walk.
In her strong, positive voice, Nujeen tells the story of what it is really like to be a refugee, to have grown up in a dictatorship only for your life to be blighted by war; to have left a beloved homeland to become dependent on others. It is the story of our times told through the incredible bravery of one remarkable girl determined to keep smiling.
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: William Collins (20 April 2017)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0008192812
- ISBN-13: 978-0008192815
- Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2.5 x 19.8 cm
‘The story of Nujeen, amazing young woman and Syrian refugee, reminds the world that refugees, just like others, have aspirations and dreams for peace, education and a better society. Nujeen inspires me to dream without limits’
‘Spirited and humbling, and is proof that a refugee is a person first, a statistic last’, Books of the Year, Sunday Times
‘Extraordinary. We have heard many accounts of refugees’ journeys in the past couple of years but none like this one. If it was Lamb who wrote the words, you sense it is Nujeen’s spirit she has caught. The is important chronicle of our strange and terrible times seems likely, in fact, to make her a star’ The Times
NUJEEN is a book about a truly remarkable disabled young girl refugee from Syria. I read it in 24 hours – without a dry eye. Not tears of sadness – tears of joy about the glory of a triumphant human spirit. Go on. I challenge you. I bet you cannot read this, dry eyed, to the end’ PADDY ASHDOWN
About the Author
Born with cerebral palsy, 18-year-old Nujeen Mustafa has spent her life in a wheelchair. She had little formal education in Syria but taught herself English by watching US soap operas. In 2014 her home town of Kobane was at the centre of fierce fighting between Isis militants and US-backed Kurdish forces, forcing her family to flee first across the border into Turkey and then further into Europe, where they currently live, in Germany.
Christina Lamb is a multi award-winning journalist for the Sunday Times. She has acted as Washington Bureau Chief for the paper and in 2009 she was awarded the prestigious Prix Bayeux Calvados for her reporting from Afghanistan. She won the Foreign Press Association Award for Story of the Year in 2007, and was also named Foreign Correspondent of the Year in the British Press Awards and the BBC What the Papers Say Awards, having previously won both awards in 2002. The same year, she won the Foreign Press Association Award for her reporting on the war on terrorism. She has won numerous other awards, starting with Young Journalist of the Year in the British Press Awards for her coverage of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in 1988. She is the author of the best-selling ‘The Africa House’, ‘Waiting for Allah’, ‘The Sewing Circles of Herat’, ‘Small Wars Permitting’ and ‘I Am Malala’, co-authored with Malala Yousafzai.