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Iraq to Syria to Canada: Abu Bakr al Rabeeah & Winnie Yeung on writing about the refugee experience

Abu Bakr al Rabeeah is a high school student in Edmonton. He published his first book, Homes, in 2018 with Winnie Yeung. The book is a memoir of al Rabeeah’s experiences as a young boy in Syria in the midst of civil war. He and his family moved to Canada in 2014. In 2019, Homes is one of the five books featured on CBC’s annual “battle of the books” competition Canada Reads.

In this special Canada Reads 2019 edition of the CBC Books’ video series, he talks about why it’s important to write about a painful past.

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CBC Books’ Why I Write series features Canadian authors speaking on what literature means to them. Shot on location at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre during the 2018 Canadian Writers’ Summit, the series asks authors what motivated them to write their latest work, what themes readers should take away from the work and what excites them about the current national literature scene in general.

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