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AN UNSAFE HAVEN BY NADA AWAR JARRAR

PUBLISHED BY HARPER COLLINS
REVIEW BY AIDAN WHITEHURST

Set in Beirut amidst anxiety about the escalation of the war in neighbouring Syria, and its destabilising effect on the Arab world, Hannah and Peter find their lives interrupted. They struggle to maintain any sense of normality amongst the chaos.

Their lives are further shaken when they meet Fatima, a refugee who has experienced an unsettling image of the reality in the camps closer to the protagonists. Without giving too much away, Hannah and Peter’s close friend Anas also becomes the centre of controversy because of tragic events in Damascus.

Nada Awar Jarrar positions the readers within the current unrest in the Middle East and attempts to place a face on the many people often silhouetted against the complex politics and physical horror of the war in Syria.

Contemporary dialogue on the Middle East itself tends to focus heavily on the war-torn instability plaguing Syria. Jarrar counters this narrative by humanising the people in other countries in the region bound through a desire for peaceful existence, offering the readers more than just business-as-usual, death and destruction.

Find this novel in store at Planet Books. Ask the friendly staff for guidance too, and they’ll be more than happy to order you in a copy if it’s already sold out.