Review: Baddawi

The lives of refugees have been in the spotlight, over the last few months, some of it was because of politics, but also due to nationalism. As widespread fear mongering and hate towards these people who believed like the rest of the world, the words beneath Lady Liberty’s feet. The core element, that most people don’t realize, is that these are fleeing violence and most recently, war. The fear of losing your life, is the only constant these men, women, and children, know and that is not living.

When the Western World insinuates their impertinence on inhabitants of the Third World, our society can no longer call ourselves human, as we become less than. This why the fact that most people can’t tell the difference between refugees and immigrants is both disturbing and ridiculous. Living in a refugee camp, is one that rarely gets explored, if you don’t count Brian De Palma’s Scarface. This subject is meticulously explored and documented in Leila Abdelrazaq’s striking opus to her father, Baddawi.

In the first few pages, the reader is quickly introduced to what lead to her father being sent to a refugee camp, as the politics of Palestine play out in the name of ethnic cleansing. Ahmed, her father gets to Baddawi refugee camp, where children like him try to liv a life of some semblance of living and learning. As he struggles to find his place in this world, he also finds that life is not fair and people are just as cruel. By the end of the book, he is stronger, smarter and more resolute than ever, as he as a visa to go the United States but not on to come back to Lebanon.

Overall, a coming of age story in a place where war is commonplace and the tearing apart of families is as mutual as heartbreak. The story by Abdelrazaq is distressing, heartfelt and leaves the reader appreciative of their upbringing. The art by Abdelrazaq is beautifully incandescent and leaves traces on your heart. Altogether, a heavy yet important take on the lives of refugees that one finds complex and illuminating.

Story: Leila Abdelrazaq Art: Leila Abdelrazaq
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy