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Monday, September 18, 2017

Stepping Stones, a Refugee Family's Journey

Stepping Stones: a Refugee Family's JourneyBy Margriet Ruus
Artwork by Nazir Ali Badr

Stepping Stones, A Refugee Family's Journey, was displayed as a new book at the library, and I was immediately intrigued by the unusual artwork on its cover.  Five people in single file, created entirely out of stones, carrying bundles (also in stones) on their hunched backs, heads down - a sad and gripping scene.

Don't be fooled into thinking this is a "baby book" because it is shelved in the picture book section. This is the heartbreaking story of a young girl named Rama and her family's difficult and dangerous journey through their war-ravaged homeland, Syria, across the Mediterranean Sea, and eventually to freedom and peace in their new home. What makes this book extra special is the rock-artwork which is filled with powerful human emotion and astonishing detail.

The foreword is an important part of this story, as it explains how the book was conceived, developed, and eventually published.  The artist, Nazir Ali Badr, is a resident of Syria, a country torn apart by civil war.  He remained in his town, Latakia, gathering inspiration for his art by watching thousands of the town's inhabitants flee to safety.

I think everyone, including adults, should read and share this amazing book.

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