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  • Northside West

What’s the story?

Sunday, 30th June, 2019 7:00pm
What’s the story?

Onjali Q Raúf with Milena Witkowska and Nikki Imanuel of St Mary’s. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

What’s the story?

Onjali Q Raúf with Milena Witkowska and Nikki Imanuel of St Mary’s. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

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STUDENTS from St Mary’s Primary School, Dorset Street, Nikki Imanuel (right) and Milena Witkowska (left) are pictured with children’s author Onjali Q Raúf at last week’s launch of the Refugee Book Reading Campaign 2019.

The 2019 Waterstones Children’s Book Prize Rauf has signed up with UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and Children’s Books Ireland to support the annual refugee book-reading campaign taking place in libraries and bookshops across Ireland.

“Books help children confront, understand and empathise with what it truly means to be a refugee and a human being in desperate need” said Rauf.

“I am proud of this opportunity to highlight the kind and generous acts by the people of Ireland to welcome those displaced by the ongoing war in Syria, and in so doing, breaking the mould of hostility and suspicion that is tragically the norm.”

Over 200 bookshops and libraries across Ireland will take part in the campaign, which encourages adults and children to buy or borrow a book about refugees. Popular titles include ‘The Kite Runner’, which documents the boyhood friendship of two friends in Afghanistan and ‘The Go-Away Bird‘, a first-hand account of the Rwandan Genocide by a 12-year-old refugee. For each title borrowed or bought, readers will get their own bookmark.

Enda O’Neill, Head of Office with UNHCR Ireland, says there’s a record number of people around the world forced to flee their homes, so there has never been a better time for people to read the stories of those forced to flee.

“Their powerful stories are a reminder of the incredible resilience of the human spirit and determination of people to find a safe place to call home,” she said. 

Onjali Q Raúf with students from St Mary’s at the launch of the annual Refugee Book Reading Campaign 2019. Photo: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

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