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Omar El Akkad

Forfatter af American War

2+ Works 2,209 Members 122 Reviews

Om forfatteren

Omar was born in Cairo, Egypt and grew up in the Middle East before moving to Canada. He is a graduate of Queen's University. He spent ten years as a reporter covering stories such as the war in Afghanistan to the military trials in Guantanamo Bay, the Arab Spring revolutions in the Middle East and vis mere the protests in Ferguson, Missouri. Omar is a recipient of the National Newspaper Award for investigative reporting for his coverage of the "Toronto 18" terrorism arrests. He has also won the Edward Goff Penny Memorial Prize for young Canadian journalists, and has been nominated for several National Magazine Awards. (Bowker Author Biography) vis mindre

Omfatter også følgende navne: Omar El Akkad, Omar El Akkad

Image credit: Omar El Akkad

Værker af Omar El Akkad

American War (2017) 1,823 eksemplarer
What Strange Paradise (2021) 386 eksemplarer

Associated Works

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Land (til kort)
Cairo, Egypt
Priser og hædersbevisninger
Giller Prize (2021)



Amir is a 9-year old Syrian boy who survives a shipwreck. Everyone else to be seen has washed up on shore, dead. He is on an island, but doesn’t know where he is, nor does he understand the language. When two men see him and point and shout, Amir gets scared and runs. He runs into Vanna, 15-years old and though they are unable to communicate verbally, she hides him.

The story then shifts to “Before”, which brings us up to date on how Amir got where he is. We go back and forth between Amir’s before and “After”. Much of after is told from Vanna’s POV, but occasionally we switch to the POV of a colonial who is dead set on finding Amir, the little boy who ran away.

Given that it’s (primarily) from a 9-year old’s POV, it took a bit to figure out what was going on through much of the story. I am still not sure I understand the ending. But it was a “good” (powerful) story, even so.
… (mere)
LibraryCin | 26 andre anmeldelser | Feb 12, 2024 |
Wanted to love this but it didn't really click for me. I kept waiting for the moment when I'd become emotionally invested and it never happened.

Concept is frighteningly realistic - the US is a climate changed ravaged country fighting a new civil war against the south over fossil fuel. This is from the perspective of the southern fighters and it tries to get into the head of why somebody would fight such a war and become a terrorist in support of it.

I think I might have liked this more if it wasn't Christmas. I'm trying to feel happy and generous in my life right now and this is opposite everything this season represents. Maybe it would have worked if I was in a different headspace.… (mere)
hmonkeyreads | 94 andre anmeldelser | Jan 25, 2024 |
Apocalyptic fiction — like apocalyptic TV — really isn’t my bag.

Nevertheless, American War tells a story about what the future might hold for America that is neither implausible nor limited to the American landscape.

I will not spoil the ending for readers, let’s just say it’s grim.
MylesKesten | 94 andre anmeldelser | Jan 23, 2024 |
In September 2015, the world was horrified by the image of 2-year-old Alan Kurdi, a refugee from the war in Syria, washed up on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea in Turkey. Of course, that photo seems to have done little to encourage wealthier nations to open their borders to refugees or address the sociopolitical and climate crises causing the refugee crisis. What Strange Paradise begins with a similar image of bodies washed up on the shores of the Greek island of Kos where the locals see the refugees as harmful to their tourist economy. The only survivor is a 9-year-old Syrian boy, Amir Utu, who is protected from the authorities by a 15-year-old Greek girl Vänna Hermes.

Alternate chapters narrate the story before and after the shipwreck. In the "before" story, Amir inadvertently follows his “Quiet Uncle” Younis aboard a ship smuggling refugees to Europe. Amir ends up with the better-off passengers on the deck, while Younis is forced below decks. Amir gets to know the other people on the ship including the crew of smugglers who know little about operating and maintaining the ship (and charge extra for life vests), as well as other passengers who share their dreams of a better life. In the "after" story, Vänna helps Amir find clothes and food and tries to get him to ship that takes migrants to the safety a mainland refugee camp all the while avoiding the military lead by Colonel Kethros who is determined to catch Amir.

It's a book that's heartbreaking and enraging rooted in contemporary events. The structure of the novel is interesting and I found myself hoping against hope rooting for Amir and Vänna to succeed.
… (mere)
Othemts | 26 andre anmeldelser | Jan 22, 2024 |



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