Hello and welcome to ‘Map Monday’. This was inspired by the current pandemic and lockdowns and the inability to travel. I will share one book each week with you that is set somewhere different to where I live. I’ll chat a bit about the book and throw some interesting facts out there about the place. I hope you enjoy travelling through books with me…
This week I’ve picked ‘The Beekeeper of Aleppo’ by Christy Lefteri…which is set in Syria.
Nuri is a beekeeper; his wife, Afra, an artist. They live a simple life, rich in family and friends, in the beautiful Syrian city of Aleppo – until the unthinkable happens. When all they care for is destroyed by war, they are forced to escape. But what Afra has seen is so terrible she has gone blind, and so they must embark on a perilous journey through Turkey and Greece towards an uncertain future in Britain. On the way, Nuri is sustained by the knowledge that waiting for them is Mustafa, his cousin and business partner, who has started an apiary and is teaching fellow refugees in Yorkshire to keep bees.
As Nuri and Afra travel through a broken world, they must confront not only the pain of their own unspeakable loss, but dangers that would overwhelm the bravest of souls. Above all – and perhaps this is the hardest thing they face – they must journey to find each other again.
Facts about Syria:
- Syria was one of the founding members of the United Nations
- Their official language is Arabic
- Syria was the largest Arab state to emerge from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire
- Present day Syria is a battleground of the whole world, with troops from nearly 34 countries fighting a complex web of wars
- Syria was once a tourist hotspot for its religious and historical wonders, but the war caused a 75% decline in the tourism industry
- The city of Aleppo in Syria was named the Islamic Capital of Culture in 2006
- The Aleppo Citadel is the mother of all citadels. Built in the year 3, BCE, it is one of the oldest and largest castles in the world, standing strong even today
- Legends have it that the first murder took place in Syria. Cain, the son of Adam and Eve, killed his brother, Abel, on Mount Qasioun, near Damascus
- The ancient Euphrates River passes through Syria. It is considered the birthplace of the first civilization in the world, the Mesopotamian Civilization
- The climate varies from the humid Mediterranean coast, through a semiarid steppe zone, to arid desert in the east
- Archaeological evidence shows that Syrians have been drinking beer since at least 2500BC
- Syria have won 4 medals ever in the Olympics; 1 gold, 1 silver and 2 bronze
- Syria is home to Palmyra which was a thriving city of the ancient world, whose ruins are UNESCO-listed. References to Palmyra appear in the Bible as well as in other historical writings, some dating as far back as the 2nd millennium BC.