Hope Not Fear

Hassan Akkad

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02 September 2021
304 pages

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.

'Hassan Akkad is a remarkable soul with a remarkable story. He not only leads us through his own physical and emotional odyssey, but teaches us about our own society.' – Lindsey Hilsum, International Editor, Channel 4 News

From the jasmine-scented streets of Damascus to uprisings, protest and being forced to flee his home, Hassan Akkad has experienced unbearable losses. Yet, he still holds on to hope and chooses to see the kindness in humanity every day.

Since seeking asylum in the UK, Hassan’s unshakeable instinct to raise awareness, help and connect, has seen him share not only his experience as a refugee, but to the coronavirus pandemic. Hassan documented his work as a cleaner on a London hospital Covid-19 ward. His photographs and advocacy shone a spotlight on the often overlooked NHS cleaners and porters and instigated a U-turn on a government bill that had excluded their families from the bereavement compensation scheme.

Hassan has captured hearts the world over. He bridges national and political divides, his humanity, sense of service and ideals bring people together. Hope Not Fear is a campaigning message of triumphing over adversity, standing together and uniting in kindness and love. In this book, Hassan shows us why this is the single most important message of our time.

This book is a vital and timely reminder of the power each of us has to create change in this world when we remember we are part of a global community. Hassan reminds us that hope is not passive: it comes from all of us. Hassan's words and story will stay with me forever. I cried and laughed. My heart was both broken and made whole again through his words. Everyone needs to read this book!

Mikaela Loach

What a book! What a story! So full of compassion, courage, and empathy. I learnt so much and feel much better informed.

Cathy Rentzenbrink, bestselling author of The Last Act of Love

Syria has lost another extraordinary young person in Hassan Akkad. His terrifying and candid account is yet another reminder of how much we gain as a society when we welcome those to whom we owe nothing.

Emma Thompson