Butterfly: From Refugee to Olympian – My Story of Rescue, Hope, and Triumph

By Yasura Mardini. Read about it on Amazon.

2 thoughts on “Butterfly: From Refugee to Olympian – My Story of Rescue, Hope, and Triumph

  1. I liked this book and think is could work as a CRP selection. I would like a second opinion to see if others find it appropriate. The main character (Yusra) is a Syrian refugee who made her way to Germany along with her older sister. Their journey is harrowing, particularly when they get caught up in the efforts to prevent refugees moving on from Hungary. Yusra and her sister are both well educated and led a fairly privileged life in Syria. Because they are both highly trained swimmers, they were able to gain housing and sponsorship when they got to Germany. The book has a very positive outcome in that their family is reunited, and Yusra was able to compete in the Olympics in Brazil as part of the Refugee Olympic Team and is now a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador. Some of the themes that might be explored in this book are the causes and consequences of the crisis in Syria, throughout the world where are people leaving their countries and why, the role that social class plays in the ability to cope with the disruption of moving to a new country, the responsibilities of countries and governments to support incoming refugees.

  2. Kathleen McSharry

    “Butterfly” has strong narrative momentum because the book’s content is inherently dramatic. The book tells the story of a Muslim Syrian girl/young woman whose life is upended by the Arab Spring. The book focuses on her story as a swimmer and as a refugee. She comes from a relatively privileged background and is able to make her escape from Syria because of her own gumption plus significant financial support from her family and from chance encounters she has with media people. The book races along without taking a breath to reflect on Syrian history, culture, or politics. It feels to me that it was written very quickly not only because of this but also because of multiple pronoun errors and typos. I do not think it would provide a sufficient foundation for meaningful campus programming.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *