Invitation: World Refugee Day, 20 June, Vienna: UNHCR Spokesperson and author Melissa Fleming reads from her new book Doaa - A Hope More Powerful than the Sea (in German).

    Today, the world is witnessing people fleeing from war, persecution and other violations of human rights in numbers not seen since World War II. Doaa al Zamel, a young Syrian woman, is one of them. Her touching story and her journey across the Mediterranean Sea is portrayed in the new book "Doaa - A Hope More Powerful than the Sea", by UNHCR Spokesperson Melissa Fleming.

    World Refugee Day, observed on 20 June, is dedicated to raising awareness across the world about people who are forced to flee. On this occasion, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees invites you to a public reading followed by an audience discussion with Melissa Fleming and the book's protagonist, Doaa al Zamel.

    The reading and discussion will be in German.

    Time: 20 June 2017, 19:00 hours
    Venue: Hauptbücherei am Gürtel, Urban-Loritz-Platz 2a, 1070 Vienna

    Opening remarks (in English) by United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed.

    Moderator: Thomas Seifert, Wiener Zeitung, Deputy Editor-in-Chief

    Attendance is free of charge.

    About the book

    In Syria, Doaa al Zamel was dreaming of studying law when the war shattered her plans and destroyed her future. In 2014, together with her fiancé, Doaa risked the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean Sea. The crossing ended in tragedy and 500 people drowned. However, the young woman managed to survive whilst also becoming a lifesaver for others. Through Doaa al Zamel's story, Melissa Fleming gives a voice to all those who have vanished behind numbers, statistics and facts by portraying not only their suffering, but also their hopes and dreams.

    Melissa Fleming was appointed as Head of the Communications section and UNHCR Spokesperson in 2008. After starting her career as a journalist, she worked with the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Melissa holds a degree in German Studies and a Masters in Journalism.

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