An Unsafe Haven reviewed by Kate


An Unsafe Haven, written by Nada Awar Jarra, is set in Beirut. The story follows a group of friends who live in Lebanon as the war in Syria continues and impacts on Lebanon. The characters in the book are very varied – two couples where one in each couple is not from Lebanon. This adds a lot of flavour to the book through their different perspectives on Lebanon, the civil war, how refugees into Lebanon are treated and ultimately how safe they feel in the country.

One of the main focusses is how the different families in the book are impacted on by the war and unrest in Lebanon. There is a family with children, one without and a refugee family – all with different needs and ideas and values of safety, family and where their place in the world is.

An Unsafe Haven gives a stark insight into what it’s like to live daily with unrest, violence and war at your doorstep. The reality of what is happening in Syria and its neighbouring countries is easy to turn off to when I live in Australia, but the neighboring countries are bearing the brunt in many ways – IS attacks, refugee crisis and being vilified in their own country due to its proximity to Syria. An Unsafe Haven highlights yet again how lucky I am in Australia, and that being born somewhere really shapes how you will live.

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