When the Nazari family left Taliban-dominated Afghanistan seeking a better life in 2001, it would have been impossible to foresee the dangerous journey that would eventuate, culminating in rescue from the Norwegian freighter, the Tampa and resettlement in Christchurch. Life in the Garden City would also be eventful over time, not only with the challenges faced by all refugees but the earthquakes and mosque shootings as well.
Combining an ongoing examination of Afghanistan and the global system of refugee management with the inspiring story of a resilient family, this is a remarkable memoir notable for its hope, determination and achievement. [Larger font]
Mostly enjoyed. Overall it was considered an important story. Horrified at the risks that people need to make for safety, but proud of the role New Zealand took in enabling the Tampa families settlement. Those who discussed the book together acknowledged that refugees needed to maintain their identity whilst integrating into New Zealand society. A much easier process for children than adults.
A very interesting read told from a male's point of view. We would've loved to have had a section written by his mother or sisters.
Differing opinions on enjoyability. Some found the book hard to get started but then found it moved on quickly. Some aspects of the lives of women portrayed were difficult to read but we appreciated the way historical details of the time were woven into the storyline well.
Great book! Should be compulsory reading in all N.Z. secondary schools.
Everyone really enjoyed this. Prompted great discussions.
The seven members at the meeting were very positive about this book. They enjoyed the setting in Afghanistan, the story of the very difficult journey to N.Z, and then the life in N.Z. for this family of 9 who settled with wonderful support and flourished. A very positive story of refugees developing and contributing in N.Z.
We were all very happy to have read this book. The style was engaging, and although some of the events were horrific, we had great admiration for Abbas and his family's positive attitudes, determination and humanity.
Everyone thought it was a wonderful heroic story of the plight of the Tampa survivors written by a young boy, and his amazing achievements.
Oh my goodness - what an amazing book! We all loved it and were so moved by the story. The plight of increasingly huge numbers of refugees seems insurmountable. Such brave, desperate people deserve any help we can provide.
Loved it. Very educational story.
Everyone in our group found this book to be easy to read - it flowed well and used straightforward language - and also enjoyed it, learning more about the international refugee situation as well as the N.Z. experience.
An important read! The description of the time at sea is particularly enthralling, but the whole story flows beautifully and we all agreed it was a page-turner from beginning to end. Abbas is balanced in his assessment of political and social forces involved in the refugee crisis, but the behaviour of John Howard's government at the time will make your blood boil. Uplifting, inspiring, incredible After the Tampa puts a Kiwi face on the refugee crisis and asks the reader: What would you do for a chance at a better life
Easy to read this amazing story; full of admiration for all the courage, perseverance and preparedness shown by the family as they achieved so much. Although it is a relatively brief journal of the epic journey, it is what is not written but rather sits underneath the story that is the most fascinating.
Overall the group liked this book - gave a good understanding of what happened with the Tampa and led to a good discussion on refugees v. migrants and dirty politics (Australian). We thought the first half was better than the second half.
This book was loved by all our members and caused much discussion regarding the hardships faced by refugees, firstly by getting out of their troubled countries and then facing day to day difficulties in their chosen new country.