Mozhdah Jamalzadah on the humanity of The Boat People

On Day One, panellist Mozhdah Jamalzadah explains why she feels The Boat People is a sobering reflection of our times.
On Day One of Canada Reads, Mozhdah Jamalzadah makes her case for The Boat People by Sharon Bala. 1:12

In her opening argument for The Boat People by Sharon Bala, Mozhdah Jamalzadah draws parallels between her family's experience of fleeing their own country with that of the novel's characters and explains how the story humanizes the ongoing refugee crisis.

"As a refugee myself — watching firsthand what my parents went through to get us to safety here in Canada, leaving all they've ever known and loved, seeing their desperation, not knowing if we would survive to see another day — I connected with this book instantly. The Boat People gives the refugee crisis a human face. It's about humanity and understanding — about opening your doors to another human being who has lost their home, loved ones and everything they've ever known due to war and circumstances out of their control. It makes us see others differently and even understand ourselves a little better."

Presented by


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.