Tima Kurdi — author of the book “The Boy on the Beach”, the true story of the family of Alan Kurdi — spoke at Queen’s University on Wednesday night.
Some may recall the images of the two-year-old boy after his body washed up onshore in the Mediterranean, making global headlines and shining a spotlight on the Syrian refugee crisis. It may have happened four and a half years ago, but the image of the youngster continues to haunt.
“It’s a very sad world, we can’t continue like this, we can’t,” Tima Kurdi, Alan Kurdi’s aunt.
Tima Kurdi not only lost two nephews but also her sister-in-law after the ship they were on capsized while trying to flee the Syrian war. Kurdi, now a resident of British Columbia, has become an internationally recognized spokesperson on the global refugee crisis.
“We need to help them, we need to end all this crisis. All of this, what’s happening right now is really getting worse and it’s scary. If we’re not going to do anything, we haven’t seen the worst yet.”
Kurdi’s appearance was a part of the Queen’s Reads Program, which saw around 4,400 free copies of her book distributed to students as well as other members of the university community.
“Refugee experiences and the global refugee crisis is a problem that is all of their our problems,” said Kevin Collins, a student development coordinator. “It’s something that we all need to be aware of and take some ownership in, in terms of how do we support people who are forced to leave their homes.”
Kurdi says we all have the power to do something, we just need to speak up and use our voices.