Canada Reads 2019

Tima Kurdi

Tima Kurdi is a Syrian-Canadian human rights activist, public speaker and author based in Coquitlam, B.C.
Tima Kurdi is the author of The Boy on the Beach. (Maxine Bulloch)

Tima Kurdi's book The Boy on the Beach is on the Canada Reads 2019 longlist. The final five books and the panellists defending them will be revealed on Jan. 31, 2019.

The 2019 debates are happening March 25-28, 2019 and will be hosted by Ali Hassan

About Tima Kurdi

Tima Kurdi is a Syrian-Canadian human rights activist, public speaker and author based in Coquitlam, B.C. Kurdi has spoken around the world about the plight of refugees and the lack of long term solutions to the conditions they face. 

Her book The Boy on the Beach  is a call-to-action for the international community inspired by her family's struggle to escape the war in Syria. The book recounts her repeated efforts to sponsor her brother and his family and bring them to safety in Canada as refugees. Unfortunately, her brother's wife Rehanna and their two sons Galeb and Alan drowned attempting to cross the Mediterranean Sea to safety in Greece. The tragic image of her nephew Alan Kurdi's lifeless body laying face down on the beach sent shockwaves throughout the world and became illustrative of the actual human cost of the war. 

Why Tima Kurdi wrote The Boy on the Beach

"The photo of my nephew Alan Kurdi — the boy on the beach — touched millions of people around the world. I wrote this book because I wanted people to know who my nephew really was — what his name was, and how old he was at the time of his passing. I wanted to show people, especially in the Western world, what my country is actually like — and that we are people, just like everybody else. We have families, just like everyone else, and my people have been forced to leave their home because of war and not by choice. I want the world to constantly be reminded, in their hearts, of that image to inspire them and work to help others.

 I want the world to constantly be reminded, in their hearts, of that image to inspire them and work to help others.- Tima Kurdi

"Writing this book was a long process and a struggle to complete. But I wrote it from my heart — it was an opportunity to reflect back on the happy times in our lives, as a people and as a country. Writing things down gave me much hope and helped with the healing process. It helped me cope."

Books by Tima Kurdi  

Interviews with Tima Kurdi

After the drowned body of her three-year-old nephew Alan washed up on a Turkish beach, Tima Kurdi became an advocate for the world's refugees. She has now written a book about her own loss, and what the world must do to stop it happening again. 23:11
Tima Kurdi talks about the inspiration behind her new memoir called The Boy on the Beach: A Syrian Family's Story of Love, Loss, and Hope During the Global Refugee Crisis. 6:21
An emotional interview with Tima Kurdi, whose young nephew died during his family's escape from war-torn Syria. 7:33
Tima Kurdi is the aunt of Alan Kurdi, the three-year-old Syrian boy whose body washed up on the shore in Turkey yesterday. His older brother and his mother also drowned. His father survived. She says he tried to save them, but failed. 1:55

More about the Kurdi family

Landing in Vancouver are relatives of the Syrian family that made headlines around the world after a tragic attempt to escape from their war-torn home country 2:54
Aunt of Syrian boy whose body washed up on a Turkish beach says the family was trying to get to Canada 4:08
Tima Kurdi's nieces and nephews are going to school and learning English in Coquitlam, B.C. 3:29
Family and friends celebrate salon opening, while strangers drop by to offer congratulations 2:12