I've experienced the best and worst of humanity. I've been detained and beaten, and welcomed and respected. And yet, this story--my story--is one of hope, not fear.'
Hassan Akkad arrived in the UK after 87 days of travelling, fleeing his home and job as an English teacher in Damascus, Syria. He shares a story and experience of many refugees fleeing conflict, a story that we hear reported on the news but that the majority of us can hardly imagine. In remarkable footage capturing his passage to the UK and subsequent work as a cleaner on a London hospital Covid-19 ward, he makes the most extraordinary and terrifying experiences feel intensely close to home.
Since arriving in the UK, Hassan has continued the outspoken activism work that has by turns seen him at the receiving end of brutal torture at the hands of the Assad regime in Syria, but also raised tens of thousands of pounds for refugee charity Choose Love and instigated a government U-turn on excluding the families of NHS cleaners and porters from its Covid-19 bereavement compensation scheme. With his unique storyteller's instinct, Hassan - in his refugee journey, his charity work and his stint as a cleaner on a Covid-19 ward - has captured hearts the world over. Readers of his story will not want to cry, but to campaign because his message of triumphing over adversity by standing together, united in kindness and love, is the single most important message of our time. In this book he shows us why.