Every single time Khaled Hosseini’s name flashes across my eyes, it brings an evocative memory.
I still remember how I received ‘The Kite Runner’ as a gift from my teacher at the age of twelve. I’m certain I did not do something very remarkable to deserve it but that book sure gave a whole new meaning to the genre of fiction I had depicted in my mind.
Since then, Hosseini’s books always held a special place in both my heart and my bookshelf.
Sea Prayer is the fourth book by Khaled Hosseini and has been written in the most dynamic form. It is a tribute to a three-year-old Syrian boy, Alan Kurdi, whose dead body was found on a Turkish beach in 2015. The author was agonized when he came across the image of baby Alan who had lost his life in a dreadful manner. Hosseini then decided to mourn his loss by weaving the most intense and heartfelt words one could ever express their feelings with.
Although the book consists of a very few pages but each word and illustration spoke for itself. It spoke about the misery of a father who writes a letter to his son before they flee from their country to a safer place.
In these letters, Marwan’s father reminisces the good old days when his homeland was filled with tranquility and peace, unlike now. Despite the memories, he is taking a relentless journey out of their war-torn homeland. He wholeheartedly wishes for his son to experience those beautiful days, which might never come back in their own land.
He trembles with a broken heart at the thought of how little Marwan has only seen the days of bloodshed, starvation, and burials; how he would never be able to witness the days when the markets of Homs used to bustle with crowded lanes filled with people. Each morning breeze brought serenity to their homes.
His heart yearns to return Marwan the childhood he deserves. The childhood which has the warmth of home, love of a family and adventures which he could cherish forever. He prays to keep his son safe from the wrath of the hoarding sea. He wishes with all his heart that the sea knows how precious his little boy is.
The book is not only influenced by Alan Kurdi’s story but also by the 4,176 lost lives sharing similar journeys and each one of them had their fair share of grief. Khaled Hosseini has promised to donate all his earning made by the book to The UNHCR & The Khaled Hosseini Foundation so he could make a difference in their lives.
Moving on with the review, the author used his skills of narrating a story to the fullest and at one very moment, I could hear the cries and plights of thousands which brimmed my eyes. A few people were disappointed by the book because they expected it to be longer than it is but, in my opinion, he did a remarkable job. The words were interlaced with sheer preciosity and their impact was so powerful that just twenty-four pages were enough to make a reader weep.
Sea Prayer is indeed an addition to the masterpieces written by Khaled Hosseini but in my opinion, this little piece of art should not be considered as just a compilation of a few words. It is a message, a very powerful one which needs to be received with percipience.
Every reader depicts each book in a distinctive way as any other reader would but Sea Prayer served a manifested purpose of making a collective prayer for the people of remarkable courage, the refugees. For whom life issues are way greater than ours would be. Their hope dies each time a life is lost but their sobs are always left unheard.
It is high time that we start treating refugees without any prejudice. They deserve peace as much as any other global citizen does. It brings us to the very basic plea- humanity over nationality, religion, caste, color, creed & race.