Willesden Green mother writes a book to help children in Syria and Turkey

Samah Zaitoun and children Danyal and Tamara

Samah Zaitoun and children Danyal and Tamara - Credit: Archant

Novel by Samah Zaitoun, 35, aims to aid youths in refugee camps

A Willesden Green mother has written and illustrated a book to help children in refugee camps on the border of Syria and Turkey come to terms with their difficult surroundings.

Samah Zaitoun, 35, who lives with her husband Alex Moran and two children, Tamara, seven, and Danyal, six, has written Far From Home as part of her Masters Degree in Children’s Book Illustration at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.

Commissioned by Books for Syria, 6,000 copies ohave so far been distributed to camps on the border as well as children still living in the war torn Syrian cities of Iblib and Aleppo.

She said: “It’s a really difficult situation there. Parents don’t have the time or piece of mind to tell the child what they are going through so I wanted to tell the child but in a positive way and away from their harsh reality. That’s why I used animal characters, less harsh, and a very colourful story.”

The story centres on a goose and her gosling that run away from a drought and are able to find resolution at the end of their journey when they come to a safe place.

Mrs Zaitoun, who studies part time in Cambridge, came to the UK five years ago after meeting her London-born husband, an immigration lawyer, who was working in Syria.

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She said: “I got lots of support from my whole family, they are really understanding. The children actually donated lots and lots of their own money to support the Syrians.”

Samah donated her payment for Far From Home to Hand in Hand For Syria, a charity which provides medicine and food to refugees.