10 September 2018

Sea Prayer, a poem by author and UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, Khaled Hosseini, has been released as a book for the first time to mark the third anniversary of the death of three year old Syrian refugee Alan Kurdi (2 September). The book is illustrated by Dan Williams. 

Written in the form of a letter, Sea Prayer is a father’s reflection as he watches over his sleeping son, on the dangerous journey across the sea that lies before them. It is also an account of their life in Homs, Syria, before the war, and of that city’s swift transformation from a home into a deadly war zone. Khaled first read Sea Prayer at a private UNHCR fundraising event in New York.

Sea Prayer was first produced for public release as a virtual reality experience in collaboration with UNHCR, the Guardian and Google. Its release as a book accompanies UNHCR's report into the deaths at sea of other refugees attempting to make the desperate journey to find safety in Europe, with a call to action for governments, civil society, the public and the private sector to stand together #WithRefugees by supporting and expanding safe and alternative legal pathways for refugees.

Proceeds from the sale of Sea Prayer will go to The Khaled Hosseini Foundation and UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency to help fund life-saving support and build better futures for refugees around the world.

Sea Prayer is available in print and e-book via Bloomsbury Australia.

Australia for UNHCR media enquiries, please contact:

Mark Macdonald, Head of Communications, Australia for UNHCR - [email protected]

Wendy Bruere, Media & PR Officer, Australia for UNHCR - [email protected]


An illustration of a Syrian father and his son making the perilous journey by boat to seek refuge from Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini | Desperate Journeys

Sea Prayer by Khaled Hosseini is about a Syrian father and his son making the perilous journey by boat to seek refuge. ©Bloomsbury Publishing

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