Hope Not Fear: Finding My Way from Refugee to Filmmaker to NHS Hospital Cleaner and Activist
A poignant and powerful memoir from BAFTA award-winning filmmaker, Syrian refugee, hospital cleaner and activist, Hassan Akkad.
I’ve experienced the best and worst of humanity. I’ve been detained and beaten, and welcomed and respected. And yet, this story – my story – is one of hope, not fear.
'Hassan Akkad is a remarkable soul with a remarkable story. He not only leads us through his own physical and emotional odyssey, but teaches us about our own society.' – Lindsey Hilsum, International Editor, Channel 4 News
From the jasmine-scented streets of Damascus to uprisings, protest and being forced to flee his home, Hassan Akkad has experienced unbearable losses. Yet, he still holds on to hope and chooses to see the kindness in humanity every day.
Since seeking asylum in the UK, Hassan’s unshakeable instinct to raise awareness, help and connect, has seen him share not only his experience as a refugee, but to the coronavirus pandemic. Hassan documented his work as a cleaner on a London hospital Covid-19 ward. His photographs and advocacy shone a spotlight on the often overlooked NHS cleaners and porters and instigated a U-turn on a government bill that had excluded their families from the bereavement compensation scheme.
Hassan has captured hearts the world over. He bridges national and political divides, his humanity, sense of service and ideals bring people together. Hope Not Fear is a campaigning message of triumphing over adversity, standing together and uniting in kindness and love. In this book, Hassan shows us why this is the single most important message of our time.
'An extraordinary story that deals with the urgent issues of our era . . . But it is also a story about resilience, renewal and humanism' – Elif Shafak, author of The Island of Missing Trees
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