a few years ago there was a photo that went viral. a small boy lying limp on the beach. i guarantee most of us have seen this photo. and most of us probably never knew his name. his name was alan kurdi. he was 3. he was a syrian refugee who drowned with most of his family in the mediterranean sea. this photo broke hearts worldwide. what really shook me was how i witnessed the horrific end of this young baby’s life in the comfort of my warm home. with a full belly. a passport that comes with privilege. and the choice to scroll past the photograph and carry on with my life as if i’d seen nothing. i wrote this poem as both a reflection of this tragedy and the prevailing apathy that comes with privilege. and today it is published in ‘boy on the beach’ a book that humanizes the boy we witnessed in that famous photo. the book is written by alan’s aunt — tima kurdi. alan kurdi and his family were hoping to eventually reach canada and join aunt tima. the aftermath of alan’s passing deeply affected us here in canada. forcing us to confront the callous ways our political infrastructure had failed this family. i think it spoke to something deeper as well — the dehumanizing ways those of us with resources and means interact with those who need help.
tima kurdi and alan’s father (the only family member who survived that day) now work passionately to bring awareness to the global refugee crisis. i want to congratulate tima on the release of this beautiful book. get it. read it. she has given us alan’s story. painted life back into her family’s lives. thank you tima for humanizing alan for us. thank you for including the poem ‘boat’ from #thesunandherflowers in your book. i am thankful for you and your fight.
if there’s one interview of mine you’re going to listen to: let it be this one. it’s the one i had the most fun doing. it’s the one that feels most honest to who i am. it’s the type of genuine conversation that can only happen within the safety of a close friend. lucky for me- my sis @kay__ray interviewed me for her podcast #chadacupwithkayray (which translates to “a cup of tea with kayray😌). listen to the whole episode on all podcast platforms by searching “cha da cup with kayray” and then go watch a special cut of it on youtube.com/kayrayco
thank you for letting me share pieces of my story @kay__ray it was an honour. i love you. you have a gift. you are a gift. and for those of us who are lucky to know you- we are blessed.