I have been reading all of Khaled Hosseini books – The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns and And The Mountains Echoed. All of them are heartbreaking. The stories just stick in your head and you can’t forget them. The Sea Prayer isn’t different.
On a moonlit beach a father cradles his sleeping son as they wait for dawn to break and a boat to arrive. He speaks to his boy of the long summers of his childhood, recalling his grandfather’s house in Syria, the stirring of olive trees in the breeze, the bleating of his grandmother’s goat, the clanking of her cooking pots. And he remembers, too, the bustling city of Homs with its crowded lanes, its mosque and grand souk, in the days before the sky spat bombs and they had to flee.
When the sun rises they and those around them will gather their possessions and embark on a perilous sea journey in search of a new home.
It’s a poem which was inspired by the story of the 3 year old Syrian boy who lost his life in the Mediterranean Sea. The book is dedicated to the refugees who have lost their lives trying to escape from the war.
There is a quote saying that the death of one person is a tragedy, the death of one million is a statistic. Everyone knows the picture of the little boy who drowned in the sea 3 years ago and remember the tragic image but only a few know that in the year after his death, more than 4000 others died or went missing trying to reach safety leaving their countries.
The Sea Prayer is a reminder of the price some people have to pay to reach their freedom. All they can do during their escape is to pray that they will get to the the coast safely, and how they pray only “the sea knows this”.