Every now and then a book comes along which opens your eyes to a world you never knew existed, to a life and experience that is beyond your own comprehension and then comes along The Journey, by Abdul Musa Adam and Ros Wynne-Jones, the inspirational and unimaginable story of a young boy’s journey from the death and ruin of Darfur to Royal Ascot.
It’s not easy for us here, in the West, to comprehend what it’s like for people who live vastly different lives to ourselves, nor is it easy for us to understand the trauma and tragedy of those who’ve undergone such hardships in their lives to even get a glimpse of the comparative riches we enjoy in our own lives. This is why books, such as The Journey, are so important.
Living in Darfur at the age of 7 Abdul Musa Adam lost his entire family and home, apart from his younger brother, when his village was attacked and burned, from there his journey took him to the refugee camps in Chad and to the brutality of Gaddafi’s regime in Libya where he lost the guardian who had taken care of him since Darfur. Escaping the war in Libya Abdul escaped with the generosity and help of others fleeing the nightmare of Libya at that time, to escape to Europe and hopefully find safety. Living in a bin in France and with the help of a Tunisian man, Abdul hid under a lorry and escaped to the UK to hopefully find safety, freedom and his brother.
The Journey is not just a testament to Abdul’s plight but also a testament to those who helped him survive here in the UK, after reading the book I can only imagine how difficult it would have been for a young boy, completely out of his own environment, amid strange people and customs, yet with the kindness and support of those people, Abdul has since made a life for himself here as a rider groom at one of the most prestigious training schools in the UK.
An incredibly moving and inspiring story, The Journey, is ‘narrated’ via an Arabic translator by Abdul and written by Journalist Ros Wynne-Jones who treats the story with a great deal of sensitivity and expertise to not only put the story into a readable format but also relay the emotions of the story to the reader in such a way that we experience them with Abdul as he feels them himself.
• The Journey by Abdul Musa Adam and Ros Wynne-Jones is published by Mirror Books (£8.99). To order a copy go to www.mirrorbooks.co.uk