Book Review: Flight and Freedom

By Citizens for Public Justice

From The Catalyst, Summer 2016

Flight and Freedom: Stories of Escape to Canada
By Ratna Omidvar and Dana Wagner
Between the Lines, 2015

Reviewed by Kathryn Teeluck

In Flight and Freedom, Ratna Omidvar and Dana Wagner give a human voice to what has become a political issue. An issue that has been lost in a barrage of incomprehensible statistics and photos of faceless crowds crammed into boats. They weave together a narrative of the common themes faced by many refugees. But the authors still maintain the distinctiveness and uniqueness of each individual’s experience.

Flight and Freedom demonstrates that tyranny and persecution are not restricted to certain regions or groups. By including stories that stretch as far back as the Ottoman Empire, we are faced with the fact that refugees are not a recent phenomenon.

Omidvar and Wagner give us access to the most intimate and often humiliating experiences a human being could ever face. We journey with protagonists as they make the excruciating decision to flee their home country. We see their terror and uncertainty as they search for safety. And finally, we experience the wave of emotions they feel as they arrive in Canada, unsure of what to expect, but ready for a new beginning.

Flight and Freedom also gives us insights into the unique contributions refugees make to Canadian society once given the opportunity. In the end, we are left with an undeniable admiration for their resilience.

Canadians are struggling to decide how best to respond to the plight of refugees. Flight and Freedom is an invaluable resource to assist us in coming to an informed decision.

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