Butterfly: From Refugee to Olympian, My Story of Rescue, Hope and Triumph [Review]

October 22, 2018

Its almost the end of October which is just ridiculous, this month has been busy for me but I’m glad I’ve managed to squeeze in some reading. A few weeks ago, I received a book from Pan Macmillan SA and I was super intrigued by the fact that the blurbs are from Khaled Hosseini and President Barack Obama. I knew then that I’ll enjoy this book and boy was I wrong.

Butterly follows the main protagonist Yusra Mardini and her older sister, Sara. They are from Damascus, Syria; where their father taught them to swim at an early stage. He father competed for the national swimming team until he had to do military service; all ambition was then transferred to his two daughters, Sara and Yusra. They grew to love swimming and Yusra wanted to swim at the Olympics. but her dreams were destroyed when she couldn’t swim anymore because of the war that broke out in Syria. A lot of things are destroyed around them as bombs go off anytime of the day. Even though the war has been going on for a while, Yusra was adamant that it’ll be over one day and everything was going back to normal. Whilst a lot of people were moving away from Damascus and Sara wanted to go as well, Yusra was unsure about leaving her country. This changed when one day, as she was swimming, an unexploded bomb  entered their swimming premises and she decided there it was time to move if she wanted to attain her goal an be on the Olympics.  Yusra and Sara fled her native Syria to the Turkish coast in 2015 and boarded a small dinghy full of refugees bound for Greece. When the small and overcrowded boat’s engine cut out, it began to sink. Yusra, her sister and two others took to the water, pushing the boat for three and a half hours in open water until they eventually landed on Lesbos, saving the lives of the passengers aboard.

This is a remarkable story about two young woman who fought for what they wanted even though circumstances were working against them. Its a story that I think most people should read and might be motivated enough to start working towards their goals no matter what. Even if things are not working on your favor, but better days are coming.

The writing style is amazing, it clearly describes physical, emotional, and psychological hardships of leaving her home country and entering a new realm with the label “refugee” on her back. I enjoyed the relationships in this story i.e. friendship, parents and strangers who later became like family because of the same journey. 

The journey was not an easy one for them but giving up was not an option. I loved the fact that they mentioned they were swimmers to everyone which came in handy. 

Overall, this book is amazing just like I predicted and I highly recommend it to everyone. A little bird told me that it is being adapted to a movie and it would be good to read it before the movie comes out (just saying lol).

5 out of 5 stars

“Being a refugee is not a choice. Our choice is to die at home or risk death trying to escape.” – Yusra Mardini

Book Details

Title: Butterfly: From Refugee to Olympian – My Story of Rescue, Hope, and Triumph || Author: Yusra Mardini || Genre: Biographies & Memoirs || Published:  May 22nd, 2018 || Publisher: Pan Macmillan || Pages: 284

Thank you Pan Macmillan SA for sending me a copy. For more book related, lifestyle and natural hair related posts, please do consider subscribing to my blog and if you’re on Instagram you can find me here.

Until next time, lets keep reading.

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