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Refugee by William King


ChrisR

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Wow. What a phenomenal first chapter! It is - unfortunately, in a sense - the story we see on the news each night, but stripped of all its sanitized ho hum. This is reality. And it is painful. Brilliant.

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38 minutes ago, ChrisR said:

Wow. What a phenomenal first chapter! It is - unfortunately, in a sense - the story we see on the news each night, but stripped of all its sanitized ho hum. This is reality. And it is painful. Brilliant.

Thank you Chris, I appreciate you commenting and I am very pleased that it grabbed you, it is a tough story!

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What a gripping chapter.  I think this is going to be a brilliant discussion of humanity.  I'm tempted to start discussing the story line, but that is premature.  A great start to what I think will be a moving story.

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One chapter does not tell a story, but it does set the scene. William King has painted the despair of the Syrian people thru the eyes of his young character. This is headline news meets fiction, and so we all should know how devastating this story could become.

I just will follow along closely and cringe at the inhumanity of the situation in that country which may not change any time soon. But what fertile ground for a story...not sure I would have the courage to use it. So far so good, my thanks to William, and welcome aboard.

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Thank you Joe and Chris James for your comments.

"Headline news meets fiction" - I didn't need to dig very deep to be confronted by some horror stories and information that seems to be nicely side stepped or omitted by the headlines of mainstream media. You have to then ask yourself if what you just found out is true, but when it is easily cross referenced and is sourced from reputable sources, such as UNHCR reports, Human Rights Watch, and others, then it is reasonable to believe it is. 

Having the courage to use this background is perhaps something that has caused me a lot of personal debating. It is a work of fiction, but should nevertheless I think, do justice to the situation in which the story is set. I hope this proves to be so, my only test was that I shed some tears whilst writing it.

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The next two chapters 3 and 4 of Refugee deal with the sexual exploitation of children by aid workers. I recognise that this is a difficult subject, it is however intrinsic to the storyline, and whilst fictional, it is founded in reality. I transposed the events reported by UNHCR in 2002, concerning child sex abuse in African refugee camps to Syria and in this work of fiction the victims are boys rather than girls.

If perhaps you might be thinking that is a long time ago, then this information gives a brief summary of the situation continuing forward: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sexual_exploitation_and_abuse_in_humanitarian_response

I wanted to include this aspect to the story. The exploitation of vulnerable minors, both sexual and otherwise is a continuing theme, along with their struggle to reach Europe and safety. It is not an easy read, but I make no apology for that, it is a fictional reflection on events taking place in the world we live in. 

 

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