Writing a Book to Honor My Grandmother

  1. Story
  2. Gender Justice

Ever since my immigration to Canada 8 years ago, many peerless doors of opportunities became available for me. Every day, I wake up beyond thankful for what I was lucky enough to receive and for the journey I am able to live. Throughout my life here, I earned two pilot licenses, was accepted into one of the most competitive undergraduate programs in Canada, and received many scholarships within and outside of school. However, these achievements are not solely mine; they are also my family’s endless sacrifices for me. Were it not for their brave efforts to bring me to a safe land, I would have not been the person I am today. The previous generations of my lineage worked so tirelessly to ensure that I would not solely defy gravity, but soar so high till the sky became where I belonged. 

This year, similar to almost all students worldwide, my school closed its doors earlier than usual. After finishing the first year of my undergraduate studies at university, I found myself with more free time than I was normally accustomed to. And since several summer involvements and plans were either canceled or put on hold, I received lots of chances to reconnect with my family overseas. My grandmother was the one I talked to the most, not only because I missed her dearly, but also because her stories are always very insightful, enjoyable, and eye-opening. In the midst of our conversations, she began telling me about the difficult refugee journey she undertook in 2013, and she described it to me in all its heart-breaking details. I immediately knew that her experience was a story that needed to be shared with the world.

My grandmother is a refugee from the Middle East and currently living in Europe. She left her home in 2013 and faced countless hardships while fleeing as a senior woman with several medical conditions. During her early years, my grandmother was a feminist ahead of her time. She became a teacher at nineteen and a lawyer sometime after, all while pursuing journalism in the topics of gender equality and social justice. Her passion for world equity trickled into my desire to pursue charity and advocacy, and this became my biggest passion in life. That is why I am involved with organizations like Girl Up, where I can be vocal and work within areas that I want to advance, such as gender equality and quality education.

The refugee crisis around the world is often a neglected one despite the unimaginably large number of people who are constantly faced with no option but to seek refuge in another land. In hopes of bringing light to their suffering and sparking conversation about their struggles, I wrote a book about my grandmother’s refugee story from her point of view, entitled My Grandmother Nadia: The Journey of a Refugee. I decided to self-publish this memoir because it was an easy and quick process to do, and I was able to share her story the exact way it was delivered to me. The memoir was released for pre-order on Amazon on June 29, 2020 and published on July 3, 2020. Within a few days, it became the #1 Hot New Release of Amazon’s kindle Women’s Biographies. My goals are to share this refugee story with the media, spread the memoir to a bigger audience within the Western world, and lengthen the book so that it can be published as a paperback version in the near future.

Since all royalties from the book are donated back to Syria, I released my memoir for an educational purpose and a charitable cause. But most importantly, I wanted to honor my grandmother as a memorable, accomplished, and resilient woman who never gave up during the struggles of life. 

She is a role model for all humans around the world. 


Give to Girl Up

Your support of our girl changemakers means Girl Up can continue to work toward a world where girls have equal value, opportunity, and the chance to reach their fullest potential. You can make a difference in the life of a girl by donating today.

How to Get Involved

All around the world, our network of a million supporters is mobilizing for gender equality. Will you stand with us?

  1. Careers + Internships

    Become the newest member of the Girl Up team!

    Apply today
  2. Alum Network

    Where former Girl Up activists & members can connect, grow, & give back as they navigate adulthood.

  3. a girl who is looking down and using her finger to scrolling the phone

    Sign up to get the latest news and happenings in Girl Up’s movement.

  4. a girl with big smile on her face wearing Gril Up t-shirt (close shot)
    Join our Movement

    Join more than 270,000 changemakers from 155 countries and all 50 U.S. states.

    Start a Club
  5. two girls are smiling and writing down notes and sharing a laptop
    Explore the Issues

    All issues are gender justice issues! Find out more about what our members are passionate about.

  6. Ayanna Pressley speaking on the #girlhero event
    Upcoming Events

    We’d love to see YOU at an in-person or virtual Girl Up event.

    Join us

Close Overlay