Book: Sea Prayer
Author: Khaled Hosseini
Reviewed by: Bushra Majid
When the world saw the tragic fate of the three-year-old Alan Kurdi and several other Syrian refugees while trying to reach safety, via the eye of the lens in 2015, nothing more could grip the hearts in sorrow, eyes in grief and mind in disbelief. Khaled Hosseini has once again brought this matter of utmost importance in a breath-taking manner in this brief yet captivating book. Unlike Hosseini’s former works that include his best-sellers The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns and And the Mountains Echoed, this new masterpiece of his is very different from the rest.
The book takes you through the dilemma of an anxious man who has fled his homeland along with his wife and countless others because of the bombings and killings. With them is their little son for whose life they fear more than their own because at one end is the ongoing terror of war and at the other lies the mighty sea! The father is devasted at his helpless state and how there is nothing he can do to save his beloved child, so he comforts himself and his son in his own thoughts as:
“My dear Marwan, I look at your profile in the glow of this moon, my boy, your eyelashes like calligraphy, closed in guileless sleep. And I say to you, “Hold my hand. Nothing bad will happen.”
Sea Prayer is not one of those typical novels which have a proper beginning, a story and an ending. It’s a very brief piece of writing encoded in a very powerful message. What makes this book even more attractive is the marvellous artwork that accompanies the text by Dan Williams. Paintings by this artist in the book have captured the story to perfection so that we feel the words of author trying to make us realize how times were difficult for the people there who had set out to find safety and then we see it just how exactly it would have been, through these splendid paintings.
Hosseini’s work not only serves to be the voice for thousands of refugees who have perished fleeing from the atrocities of war, but also to raise funds to help start afresh and make us realize the most important issue that needs to be addressed; the protection and sacredness of a human life.
The book is a must to read so we can all play our part in this cause. No parents deserve to go through the loss of a child as scary as this. No child deserves to be carried away by the waves, away from his loved ones.