HarperCollins to publish disabled Syrian teen's refugee memoir

HarperCollins to publish disabled Syrian teen's refugee memoir

HarperCollins has acquired the memoir of a 16-year-old wheelchair-bound Syrian refugee, Nujeen Mustafa.

The book has been described as "a unique and powerful memoir that gives a human face to the Syrian refugee crisis", and will be co-written by British foreign correspondent Christina Lamb, the co-author of I Am Malala (W&N).

Nujeen's Incredible Journey tells the inspiring story of a teenager who taught herself to speak English by watching television and made the journey from Syria to Germany in a wheelchair. She first appeared in the British media when her story was featured in a BBC report in September 2015.

Arabella Pike, publishing director of William Collins, HarperCollins UK, acquired world rights in Nujeen's Incredible Journey from David Godwin at David Godwin Associates. 

It will be published in September 2016 by William Collins in the UK, followed by HarperWave in the US, and HarperCollins globally in nine languages including German, Swedish, Finnish, Danish, Italian, French, Dutch, Spanish and Portuguese (excluding Brazil).

Pike said: "Nujeen’s story has captured the hearts of all who heard it. Denied access to an education in Syria because of her disability, she educated herself through the television – to speak English; to learn history, drama, science; to dream of meeting the Queen and becoming an astronaut. Escaping her war-torn country, this 16-year-old with cerebral palsy suffered the hardships and dangers of the migrant route to reach safety in Europe where she hopes for a better future. Like Malala Yousafszai, Nujeen has been forced to flee her native country and had her right to an education compromised. Her powerful book, co-written by prize-winning correspondent Christina Lamb, will give voice to the refugee crisis and help us to understand that the world needs to change."