OUT NOW - Zenobia by Morten Dürr and Lars Horneman is a deeply moving graphic novel about a young Syrian refugee's attempt at freedom
Zenobia was once a great warrior queen of Syria whose reign reached from Egypt to Turkey. She was courageous. No-one gave her orders. Once she even went to war against the emperor of Rome.
When things feel overwhelming for the young Amina, her mother reminds her to think of Zenobia and be strong. To escape the war that reaches her village she boards a small boat crammed with other refugees. The boat is rickety and the turbulent seas send her overboard. In the dark water Amina remembers playing hide-and-seek with her mother and making dolmas and the journey she had to undertake with her uncle to escape. And she thinks of the brave warrior Zenobia.
In a world where millions are forced to flee oppressive governments and conflict zones, Amina’s story humanises the impact of war.
‘News reporting around refugees and war is very confrontational around the world, there’s a lot of shouting in the media,’ says Danish author Dürr.
‘With Zenobia I wanted to make a story with a soft, quiet voice that reminds people that war is a tragedy. A story that could serve as a few minutes of silence in honour of the victims.’
Told with great sensitivity in few words and almost exclusively with pictures, Zenobia is a timely, heartbreaking and all-too-real story of one child’s experience of war and a vital depiction of the personal suffering of those caught up in conflict’s destructive path.