Mahmoud Hasan al-Jasim
Mariam's Journey opens with the lines: “I am writing this story for you, Mariam. You will read the story and know and pass on the truth of what happened to us.” This is the story told by Sara Toni Jabbour to her daughter, Mariam. Sara, a Christian woman, moves to the Syrian city of Raqqa and marries Mariam’s father, a Muslim man. When fundamentalist Salafi groups sweep through Raqqa, Sara is forced – as a Christian married to a Muslim – to retreat to her family’s village. However, with Shabiha thugs in control of the area, she flees into the unknown with Mariam only to then face merciless people smugglers. Wanting to leave her daughter a true and undistorted account of their life as a family, Sara records for Mariam the joys of life with her husband and the torment of life without him. Through the story of her journey across Lebanon, Syria and Turkey, we gain an insight into the fear experienced by those forced to leave their country.