Khalid Hosseini is an Afghan writer who is currently living in America. His books mainly depict the struggles and lives of people fighting the suppression. This spirit of struggle of the oppressed people can be seen in almost all of his books: The Kite Runner, And the Mountains Echoed, A Thousand Splendid Suns and the book under review “Sea Prayer”.
In his earlier books, Hosseini has captured the spirit of resistance of the oppressed communities. Similarly, in his present book, Sea Prayer, he has painted the painful picture of the immigrants from Syria, who, in trying to escape the oppression are unable to find any safe refuge. He, through his poetic words, tells us the story of Marwan, a Syrian toddler, whose body washes up at Turkey’s shores after being drowned in the Sea. In the book, the father tells his son about the songs and sounds of the peaceful breeze of Syria before the war. He narrates to his son the harmony of the people from various faiths with mosques and churches in the same place. But gradually everything changed as war sieges the peace and they had to migrate. The book moves towards the end as the “precious cargo” drown in the sea and father is left praying that the sea might not swallow him for how dear he is.
The book leaves you with so many emotions running through your soul. It fulfils the purpose of a true literary piece as it reflects that picture of the society which is overlooked by many.
“Because all I can think tonight is
how deep the sea,
and how vast, how indifferent.
How powerless I am to protect you from it.”
The pain depicted in this poetic theatre of words is not new. The only thing new is the name while the story is the same story of war, terror, destruction and chaos in the world which, ironically, is created by humans for the fellow humans.