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Escape from Aleppo Reading Guide

Our teacher discussion guide for Escape from Aleppo, a novel about a teenage girl experiencing the Arab Spring, contains various questions and activities to help guide your lesson. The discussion questions urge students to evaluate the main character's situation, and learn more about the conflict in the Middle East. The extension activities will provide students with more information about the Middle East and Arab Spring.
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Excerpted from

Escape from Aleppo
Author: N. H. Senzai

Nadia stands at the center of attention in her parents’ elegant dining room. This is the best day of my life, she thinks. Everyone is about to sing “Happy Birthday,” when her uncle calls from the living room, “Baba, brothers, you need to see this.” Reluctantly, she follows her family into the other room. On TV, a reporter stands near an overturned vegetable cart on a dusty street. Beside it is a mound of smoldering ashes. The reporter explains that a vegetable vendor in the city of Tunis burned himself alive, protesting corrupt government officials who have been harassing his business. Nadia frowns. It is December 17, 2010: Nadia’s twelfth birthday and the beginning of the Arab Spring. Soon anti-government protests erupt across the Middle East and, one by one, countries are thrown into turmoil. As civil war flares in Syria and bombs fall across Nadia’s home city of Aleppo, her family decides to flee to safety. Inspired by current events, this novel sheds light on the complicated situation in Syria that has led to an international refugee crisis, and tells the story of one girl’s journey to safety.

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