Deborah Ellis writes of Turmoil, Hope in the Middle East


Deborah Ellis is a humanitarian and author 0f many books about the true victims of the turmoil in the Middle East, the women and children.

Deborah Ellis is a humanitarian and author 0f many books about the true victims of the turmoil in the Middle East, the women and children. She writes from the eyes of the children in the war and writes from true events. Her most famous book, The Breadwinner , stars Parvana, a girl in Afganistan who must work to keep her family alive in a society where women are not allowed to show their faces under the rule of the Taliban. Later she must travel alone in search of her family and a place to call home after her house is bombed. The Breadwinner Trilogy was heartbreaking when some of the characters died. I couldn't imagine what it would be like for a kids like us to take on all the responsibility and suffering of an adult. Deborah Ellis says that in an idea world for her, no one would be able to make money from selling weapons and everyone would have access to an education and a library. 


In search of material for her books, Ellis travels to the Middle Eastern countries to do interviews and experience what the kids there are facing. she even spent months in an Afghan refugee camp in the 90s when the Taliban was in the height of its power and girls and women were not allowed to go to school or be seen in public. A girl like me would likely be illiterate and hardly ever leave the house. Fleeing bombed-out homes and desecrated villages, many people were forced to live for years in refugee camps, often with no protection from the elements, poor sanitation, and constant fear. These people often could not find a job and were starving. Some like Shauzia in Parvana's Journey  fled alone or with their families to neighboring countries or other cities in order to survive.


But now there is hope since the fall of the Taliban. Schools and advocates of education are still targeted by the Taliban, but conditions are improving. Afghan and international attention has been directed to schools. More people are being educated and women and girls are being taught the skills they need to work and follow their dreams. With an education women can escape from oppression and poverty. And even in the worst of places there is still hope. In refugee camps adults would gather kids to scratch lessons in the dirt and people are standing up for education. Deborah Ellis would like to tell kids in war-torn countries that the war is over and they can live through this and that she hopes the world can learn from its previous mistakes. As for kids in the U. S., Ellis says "Every human can make themselves as smart, strong, confident, informed, and kind as possible so that the crimes of the past will no longer happen to the people of the future." There are also lots of organizations that ca help kids raise money or school supplies for other kids in Pakistan and Afghanistan.