Becoming Assiya is a book by Simran Keshwani, a third year literature student at Lady Shri Ram College for Women. The book is about a misplaced Syrian refugee who deals with her violent past and her journey for survival and finding herself.
The Syrian Civil War which has spelled confusion and chaos for the people living in Syria has caused one of the largest refugee movements in the history of the world. The death toll has been enormous. People lost their homes, their families, and for many, the will to live. Becoming Assiya tells the story of one such refugee and the journey she takes, dealing with fear, pain and anguish.
The book promises to be a reflection of the struggles of war-time Syria and ponders on the complexities and subtleties of human emotions. When asked about her inspiration for the book, she replied, ‘‘the reality of our times.’’ “It breaks my heart to say that there could be so many girls like Assiya out there, stuck in War torn Syria or Kurdistan, while we sleep in our ivory towers and comfortable blankets. Their struggles and their tryst with pain, loss and blood can never be compensated for. I wanted to capture the tragedy and in doing so, I realized it is not only theirs. It’s ours’’, she said.
For a first time author, touching upon an issue of such complexity and churning a book out of it, is certainly a brave attempt. She cites her inspiration as humans and human life. “That is what defines us as a race I think – our drive to overcome hate and hurdles and march on. We need to keep remembering we are all human, past the divisiveness and hate. That is what Becoming Assiya is a small endeavour towards.”
A brief introduction of the book: “Becoming Assiya is the story of a misplaced Syrian refugee and her trial with a past of Blood, wounds, War, Doubt and Hatred and the troublesome Hope of a better tomorrow. The woman’s journey encompasses through the landscape of Wartime Syria, through her mother’s journal and the rebuilding of a Post War identity for a land washed with blood, and what it meant to be alive, stuck in the middle with No Identity. Identity and Struggle, two complex concepts intermingle in this book and intersect at a common point, that of finding yourself.”
About the author: Simrann Keshwanii, 20, is a Final Year literature student at the Lady Shri Ram College for Women, University of Delhi and the Founder of a start-up, Born Of a Million Thoughts, that deals in on-ground Social Activism. She plans on changing the world, one word at a time, for words are mirrors and swords.
The book is scheduled to be launched on the 27th of February, 2017.