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Publisher's Summary

The stunning story of a young woman, an international crisis, and the triumph of the human spirit.

Adrift in a frigid sea, no land in sight - just debris from the ship's wreckage and floating corpses all around - 19-year-old Doaa Al Zamel floats with a small inflatable water ring around her waist and clutches two children, barely toddlers, to her body. The children had been thrust into Doaa's arms by their drowning relatives, all refugees who boarded a dangerously overcrowded ship bound for Sweden and a new life. For days Doaa floats, prays, and sings to the babies in her arms. She must stay alive for these children. She must not lose hope.

Doaa Al Zamel was once an average Syrian girl growing up in a crowded house in a bustling city near the Jordanian border. But in 2011 her life was upended. Inspired by the events of the Arab Spring, Syrians began to stand up against their own oppressive regime. When the army was sent to take control of Doaa's hometown, strict curfews, power outages, water shortages, air raids, and violence disrupted everyday life. After Doaa's father's barbershop was destroyed and rumors of women being abducted spread through the community, her family decided to leave Syria for Egypt, where they hoped to stay in peace until they could return home. Only months after their arrival, the Egyptian government was overthrown, and the environment turned hostile for refugees.

In the midst of this chaos, Doaa fell in love with a young opposition fighter who proposed marriage and convinced her to flee to the promise of safety and a better future in Europe. Terrified and unable to swim, Doaa and her young fiancé handed their life savings to smugglers and boarded a dilapidated fishing vessel with 500 other refugees, including 100 children. After four horrifying days at sea, another ship, filled with angry men shouting insults, rammed into Doaa's boat, sinking it and leaving the passengers to drown.

That is where Doaa's struggle for survival really begins.

A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea is an emotionally charged, eye-opening true story that represents the millions of unheard voices of refugees who risk everything in a desperate search for the promise of a safe future. Melissa Fleming sheds light on the most pressing humanitarian crisis of our time and paints a vivid, unforgettable portrait of the triumph of the human spirit.

©2017 Melissa Fleming (P)2017 Audible, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Daryl
  • Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  • 03-25-18

I Normally Like Robin Miles...

I am normally a big fan of Robin Miles as a narrator. However, it is clear she is not an Arabic speaker. I found her pronunciation of names (even well-known leaders) awkward and sitracting.
The story is compelling, so I think I'll read this one in print, and listen to other Robin Miles performanes that are much stronger.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

An important look into the Syrian crisis

While I very much enjoyed learning more about the Syrian crisis, and getting a humanizing glimpse at real people who have endured real suffering, something was missing. I admire Melissa Fleming's courage to bring this story to the world stage, but I felt like the writing might have been more compelling and resonant in more capable hands. I wanted to actually get to know Dooa, and better understand her motivations - but I always felt like we were never allowed below the surface. Perhaps a lot was lost in translation. While it was conveyed that Doaa was magnetic and charismatic, those were just words. I wanted to FEEL as much. I truly hope she and her family are prospering and feel safe with their new life in Sweden.

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Highly recommended

You’ll be deeply moved by Doaa’s story and her ordeal. One that would sometimes seem hard to believe, if it weren’t for the thoroughness of the author’s note.
Doaa’s story is unfortunately one of many, and her ordeal is a testimony of one of the largest humanitarian crisis of our time.
The book definitely lives up its title, a story of love, loss, and survival.

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Pretty Awful.

The events of the subject's life are pretty awful. What's worse is the author's need to point out how small, meek, and helpless Doaa is. There is no background to her life. It's just 8 hours of complaining. I'm sure part 2 will be Doaa complaining about Sweden. Save yourself 8 hours. Avoid this awful book.

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Powerful

It is a book club choice and I’m anxious for the discussions we will have. Really made me feel how horrendous the refugee situation and the urgent need for all humanity to come together and end this. Beyond believe that this could be going on today in a civilized world where there is so much abundance.

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Piwerful

This is a story that will capture your attention and not let you go even after it concludes. I hated every time I had to put it down. Excellent relevant read.
Highly recommend.

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One woman's story

One woman of the hundreds and thousand of women men and children who have attempted to cross to safety. It is devastating and real. The background story ensure that you dooa as a person, the harrowing travels show you her bravery and the tears you shed for her and with her make her whole. I can't imagine the horrible images she saw, or the depth of the pain she felt, but I know that she is a stronger person than I will ever be.
She left her family with the man who worked so hard to win her heart and watched him and 500 others die painful, horrific deaths when their boat sank. Her survival is incredible but I don't know if anyone would ever really recover from those losses.

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  • Karen K.
  • WALDORF, MD, United States
  • 06-06-17

To understanding the plight of Syrian refugees

a compelling and heart wrenching story of survival. Begs the question of what more should we be doing to help these people.

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Gripping!

From the very first sentence to the acknowledgements at the end, I could not stop listening to this harrowing story of resilience and hope. The realities refugees face today is almost unbelievable. My thanks to Duaa for sharing her story, to Melissa for writing it and to Robin for narrating it. Powerful.

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Amazing Story of Courage

What did you love best about A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea?

A very enlightening book about the struggles of a Syrian refugee woman. A look at a life that I knew nothing about. I am a changed person and have much more compassion toward the people of these war torn countries.

Which character – as performed by Robin Miles – was your favorite?

Doa was a very brave strong woman.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

Not sure but ut would be great.

Any additional comments?

A must read if you care to get a first hand account of a refugees struggle and pain.

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  • Arlene Finnigan
  • 04-27-17

So powerful

Such a powerful, heartbreaking story. A harrowing insight into the trauma that pushes refugees to flee their homes and the horrors they suffer in doing so. I really wish the editorial board of the Daily Mail could be made to read this.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 03-30-18

Powerfully compelling

A powerful story of a harrowing experience and to think it has taken place in such recent history. It has opened my eyes more into the displacement of so many.