The Ungrateful Refugee: Overcrowded boats, stormy seas, tented camps
Book review: Dina Nayeri’s book is an excellent addition to the literature of human rights
Dina Nayeri: a gifted weaver of stories.
The Ungrateful Refugee explores what it means to be forced to flee from home and out into a world that may be very far from welcoming. Photograph: Turkish Coast Guard Command / Handout/ Getty Images
Dina Nayeri’s book is one of those that must be read by all who care about the survival of human solidarity. In the US, the president viciously attacks four young congresswomen of colour in explicitly racist terms. Then, at a rally, Trump singles out Ilhan Omar who came to the US as a child refugee from war in Somalia, and incites his credulous followers to such a pitch that they chant “Send her back!” The Republican Party does not rebuke him.
In Italy, another young woman, German ship’s captain, Carola Rackete, faces imprisonment for rescuing 40 African migrants in the Mediterranean, and breaking through a naval blockade to land them on the Italian island of Lampedusa. The interior minister, Matteo Salvini, calls her an outlaw and her boat a pirate ship.