Saturday, March 18, 2017

Voices from Syria - a review

We are hearing a lot about immigrants right now. I have no desire to add to the contention. I've learned that if I haven't walked in another's shoes, I probably should withhold my opinion.

In 2015, about the time we were horrified at the photos of the drowned body of a small refugee boy, Katrina Hoover traveled to Jordan and Lebanon. Her goal was to interview Syrian refugees and share their stories.

The result of the interviews was two books, Faces of Syria and Voices of Syria.   Faces of Syria is a photo-heavy book with short excerpts from the interviews. Voices of Syria is a longer book sharing the complete story of Katrina's trip.

Voices of Syria

Voices of Syria is part travel memoir, part refugee interviews, and brief factual reports of the history of Syria. I know so little about the history of the Middle East and I was glad for the refresher course on the various events that have shaped recent events.

While Voices of Syria shares heartbreaking stories, it does so tastefully. I was able to let my daughter read the book without worrying that it would be too intense for her. But when I read the book, I found myself reading very slowly. This is a book to linger over. After reading a few interviews, I felt the need to just stop and pray for these dear people who have lost so much. I'm usually a fast reader but this is one book that felt wrong to rush through, as if it would be doing injustice to the refugees stories.

I also enjoyed reading about the churches and organizations that are doing what they can to relieve the suffering of the refugees. Their sacrificial giving made me consider what I should be doing to help those around me who are hurting.

I highly encourage you to read Voices of Syria if you want to understand more about the Syrian refugees or if you need a reminder of how blessed your life is.

You can buy the book from TGS International. My copy was given to me by Katrina to review, but the opinions in this review are my own. Katrina blogs at 500 Words where she shares about her life as a cardiac nurse living in a diverse neighborhood. Even though her life and mine are widely different, her blog is one of my favorites.

Have you read any books about current events that have given you a wider perspective?


  1. Thank you this book review and for reminding us of how incredibly fortunate we are. And to be aware that we are all one family.

  2. I have read Katrina's other books, but not that one yet. I also have many of Harvey Yoder's books which are amazing true stories of relatively current happenings. Who needs fiction when there are too many real-life stories to tell!

  3. I'm encouraged by the ministries of Joel Richardson, Joel Rosenburg and others that reach into the Middle East with the Gospel of Christ, and also make contact with recent refugees. Richardson has volunteers that make 'thumb drive' transalations of the Bible in several Arabic languages and drops them at refugee centers througout Europe. Rosenburg ( a Messianic Jew in Israel) was recently interviewed by a Muslim reporter on Arabic television. I hear of sweeeping numbers of conversions, and the testimonies of Martyrs.

  4. Thanks for this review, Gina! Inspires me to read the book. We don't have all the answers, but we can pray and show Christ's love.

  5. I just bought this book today, before I saw your post! I'm looking forward to reading it.


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