Hope Not Fear
'I’ve experienced the best and worst of humanity. I’ve been detained and beaten, and welcomed and respected. And yet, this story – my story – is one of hope, not fear.’
A frontline covid ward cleaner.
A BAFTA award-winning refugee.
A photographer and filmmaker with an instinct to raise awareness, help and connect.
From the jasmine-scented streets of Damascus to uprisings, protest, torture and being forced to flee his home, Hassan Akkad has experienced the unimaginable. Yet, he still holds on to hope and chooses to see the kindness in humanity every day.
Driven by an unshakeable instinct to raise awareness, help and connect, Hassan describes both his perilous journey to the UK – the subject of his BAFTA award-winning film 'Exodus' – and his life in Syria before the war. Since seeking asylum in the UK, it is this caring instinct and determination that has seen Hassan share not only his experience as a unique eye-witness as a refugee, but to the coronavirus pandemic, where his documentation of work as a cleaner on a London hospital Covid-19 ward instigated a government U-turn on excluding the families of NHS cleaners and porters from its bereavement compensation scheme.
With his unique storyteller’s instinct, Hassan has captured hearts the world over. He bridges national and political divides, his humanity, sense of service and ideals bring people together. Readers of his story in Hope Not Fear will not want to cry, but to campaign because his message of triumphing over adversity by standing together, united in kindness and love, is the single most important message of our time. In this book, he shows us why.
Galvanising and uplifting.
Caroline Sanderson, The Bookseller
A journey of hope and connection, of finding humanity in unlikely places and building something for the future. If you’re feeling bleak about the way things are going – this will do much to restore your faith.
Francesca Brown, Stylist