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No Safe Place

English Isu

devin bhangal

on 20 November 2012

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Transcript of No Safe Place

Main Secondary Characters Characters Plot Summary Introduction Setting The Smuggler No Safe Place follows the journey of Abdul, who we first meet down an alleyway in Calais, France, as he tries to trade all of his savings for a seat on a smuggler’s boat.
Abdul is a complex character who has left his war torn home in Baghdad for the opportunities that he believes await him in England. His journey has been long and difficult, and by the time we meet him, he is distrustful of other people and becoming desperate to take the next step in his journey. After a run-in with the smuggler, he nearly decides to risk everything to escape through the Chunnel, but an incident during a riot closes this path to him. Out of options and desperate to escape, he finally manages to sneak onto the smuggler’s boat. It is here that the next part of his journey begins, and his story meets with the stories of the other refugees, who are also seeking the shelter of a new land.There is a fight on the boat, and the smuggler is killed and tossed overboard, where he is swallowed by the sea. The children who remain on the boat fall asleep and the story is broken up by the first of several flashbacks. They are heartbreaking and explain the events that put each character on the path they are on now with Abdul in the boat to freedom. When they wake up, Abdul and his new companions, Jonah, Rosalia and Cheslav, discover that the fifth passenger, a boy from Uzbek, has died. In a touching scene that brings them all together, they each say goodbye to him with a prayer, a song, or a lullaby. This scene is important, because it sees a connection begin to form between these remaining refugees, who have each fought viciously for their place on the boat. It is a connection that sees them through the rest of their journey, as they hijack a yacht, and finally land on the shores of England. When they arrive, Abdul and his friends find refuge in a cave that is the hideout of a young local girl. She and her mother give shelter to the children and mark the first steps in the new lives of the children As they rest, Abdul, Rosalie and Cheslav share the final details from their past. There is a moment when all of the characters have unburdened themselves, and a sense of hope that things will now change for the better. Abdul • Fifteen-year-old Abdul is a Kurd from Baghdad

• Abdul’s father and brothers were killed by an American bomb during the initial phase of the 2003 invasion of Iraq

• His mother murdered a few years later by a religious militia

• Yet it takes the beating death of his best friend by locals to convince Abdul to flee his country for good

• Abdul is the first of the refugees that we meet

• When the story begins to incorporate their past, it is his that we hear first

• He is the character most willingly to be friends with others

• Jonah took a mouthful of the ice. “Why are you doing this?” “Doing what?” Abdul asked. “Being nice to me.” “It’s what people do.” (p89)

• Moments in the text show his desperation to reach his destination

• “He brought the knife up just as a CRS (Congressional Research Service) officer moved in close to him. The knife stabbed into the officer’s arm.” (p27)

• Each of the refugees carries something that is precious to them, almost like a totem.

• Abdul carries a medallion given to him by Kalil, his best friend who was beaten to death.

• At the beginning of the book, Abdul divides the world as follows. ‘Some people can get on the ferry. And some people can’t.’ (p10)

• Abdul sees himself as one of the people not allowed to get on the ferry Cheslav • Cheslav comes from Russia

• He had lost his mother there

• She was bought as a mail order bride

• He thought his mother would come back for him, but she didn’t

• He was living in an orphanage

• He was put in a military school against his will

• Then Cheslav was transferred to Moscow because he was an exceptionally good trumpet player at a young age

• He didn’t want to die in a war, like one of his friends did

• So he escaped, all the way to Calais, France

• Cheslav prefers to be and work alone

• They met on the bigger of the two decks. Cheslav looked at his freshly washed clothes. “Who touched my things? - Cheslav” I washed them when I washed mine. -Abdul” “I know how to wash clothes. Leave my things alone. - Cheslav”(p86)

• Cheslav’s totem is his trumpet, although he does not have one with him until the end of the book

• Cheslav’s only wish is to play his music where it is appreciated Rosalia • Rosalia is a Roma teenager from the Czech Republic

• She travels to Germany, and then on to Calais, France

• She was raped in the Czech Republic

• Then men came and lied to her uncle, telling him that Rosalia was to be protected and work in a factory for them

• The men that lied had a sex business, and she was almost raped again in Germany

• However smart Rosalia escaped

• In Berlin, Rosalia came across a graveyard that had a whole section devoted to the Roma people who were killed by the Nazis

• The Roma people wanted to have freedom, not to be put in concentration camps and killed

• Seeing the graveyard inspired Rosalia to run away from the men who bought her

• When Abdul first sees Rosalia he describes her as follows.

• “There was a teenaged girl, downplaying that she was a girl by tucking her long braid inside the back of her jacket. She wore a big hat pulled down around her face, and men’s clothes that were loose and big around her. Clearly, though, she was a girl.” (p22)

• Rosalia prefers to be seen as a boy, so she will never be treated the way she was in Berlin and Czech Republic

• Her totem is a bag of marbles, they were placed at the base of a memorial statue for the Romans that died in the concentration camps

• Rosalia is looking for a place where she’ll be safe and treated right Jonah • Jonah is the nephew of the smuggler that takes Rosalia, Abdul and Cheslav out to sea.

• Left with his uncle after the death of his mother, he has been turned into a slave, and is constantly beaten and ridiculed

• His uncle is always saying he’s bad luck and he calls him an unwanted puppy

• “You’re bad luck. You’re an unwanted puppy, aren’t you?” the smuggler said, bringing his face low and breathing his foulness right into the boy’s nostrils (p43)

• His uncle convinced him to think the name Jonah was bad luck

• So, with all the problems the refugees faced in the beginning story Jonah believes he is the root of them all

• It is not until later, when the other characters explain to him that it was his uncle who was the problem not him

• Jonah is the only character who has no worry when they get to England, since he is a British citizen

• However he gets very attached to Abdul and wants him to take care of him when they get to England Calais, France • “He was well hidden in the shadows, down in the gully under the ruins of the old tower.”(p10)

• “Abdul changed directions. He’d been heading toward Sangatte, a suburb in the west of Calais with high sand dunes and long grass to hide in.”(p17) •Calais is a city in the Nord-Pas de Calais region of France. It is the closest point on the French mainland to England; Dover lies across the English Channel just 32 km away. The town has a major cross-Channel ferry port, and the French entrance to the Channel Tunnel is nearby. The Ocean • “The rain came down and the waves carried the boat this way and that.”(p45)

• “It was a night without sleep. The rain fell without mercy, and the waves tossed the boat around like a plaything.”(p53)

• “Dawn came slowly, hidden behind the thick clouds. By the time Abdul realized he could see, the rain had downshifted from a deluge to a drizzle. The air was still cold and the wind still blew, but the waves rolled instead of rocked.”(p53) Cornwall England • “Is this England?” Abdul asked. “It’s Cornwall.” The child shook back the hood of the slicker and revealed the face of a girl around eight, framed by two long braids.(p165)
• “Cheslav pointed to some graffiti scrawled on the base of the memorial. There’s your answer. PAKI GO HOME”(p172)
• “It felt to Abdul like they were walking in a postcard town with a bakery, a charity shop, an old age home, a pub, a couple of churches and a café that promised the best fish and chips in England.”(p172)
• Cornwall is a peninsula bordered to the north and west by the Celtic Sea to the south by the English Channel, and to the east by the county of Devon, over the Tamar River. Cornwall has a population of 535,300 and covers an area of 3,563 km2 (1,376 sq. mi). The administrative centre, and only city in Cornwall, is Truro. Baghdad, Iraq • Baghdad is the capital of the Republic of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Province. The population of Baghdad as of 2011 is approximately 7,216,040, making it the largest city in Iraq, the second largest city in the Arab World and the second largest city in Western Asia. • “It was as though God, had picked up the world, shaken it madly, then let it fall through His finger and scatter on the ground.-Abdul (p49)”

• “Some neighbourhoods were crowded with people scrambling through the wreckage, calling out to each other when they found food or a body.-Abdul (p49)” Berlin, Germany • “The apartment building looked over a large park, still green in the fall, with trees that were starting to change colour. Train tracks ran along one side of it, and apartment blocks rose up all around it. (p101)” • Berlin is the capital city of Germany and one of the 16 states of Germany. With a population of 3.5 million people, Berlin is Germany's largest city and is the second most populous city proper and the seventh most populous urban area in the European Union. • He is the second character we meet in the story, when Abdul meets up with him in Calais, France

• He would not give Abdul or any of the other illegal immigrants a receipt for the money they gave him

• Every character had doubts about him being able to get them to England

• He is very aggressive and isn’t scared of starting fights with anyone

• “The smuggler’s boot smashed into Abdul’s head, sending him spinning into the gutter.”(p14)

• The smuggler is the uncle of Jonah

• He blames Jonah for all his problems and when on the small boat to England he gets drunk and tries to kill him

• “The smuggler picked the boy up by his hair and moved to toss him out of the boat.”(p43)

• After his attempt to kill the boy he is knocked out of the boat and left stranded in the ocean Gemma • A young girl who found the refugees in their boat

• She directed them safely to shore

• She was very friendly and saw that the immigrants meant no harm because they were only teenagers

• She had a cave that she used as a hangout spot and let the immigrants stay there

• She brought them food and clothes

• She was very secretive of keeping the refugees in the cave

• She did whatever she could to help the illegal immigrants Gemma's Mother • Starts off being scared of the immigrants and wants to turn them into the police

• After listening to their stories and a lot of convincing from Gemma she lets them stay in her house

• She agreed to take care of Jonah, but wanted the refugees to find somewhere to go as soon as possible Themes Journeys and Home

• Each of the characters is on a personal and physical journey

• As they travel they leave their childhood homes in hope of finding a safer place to live

• “We carry our home in our hearts.” —Rosalia (p73)

• “At least it was somewhere,” the Mosul man said, as if he was reading Abdul’s thoughts. “It was a place where a man could say, I’m going home.”(p18)

• Another reference to ‘home’ is in the Robert Frost poem Death of the Hired Hand (http:www.bartleby.com/118.3.html)

• “Home is the place where, when you have to go there,

They have to take you in.”

“I should have called it

Something you somehow haven't to deserve.” Racism/Attitude towards Immigrants

• Each of the characters is judged at many times on their journey based on their background or nationality

• Gemma was not scared when the four refugees arrived in her cave

• However they feared of what Gemma’s mother might do when she finds out

• “Some people can get on the ferry. And some people can’t.-Abdul” (p10)

• That is how Abdul divides the world and their views on certain types of people Desperation

• Abdul, Rosalia and Cheslav are desperate to reach England and start their new lives

• It was the hope of having a better life that kept them alive

• If there was no hope of things getting better, people wouldn’t be so desperate to survive Friendship

• Abdul, Cheslav and Rosalia spent most of their journey on their own

• By the end they became friends and more so each other’s family

• “They had all come to the end of the land without arriving at a safe place. England was their last hope, but they could go no farther on their own.” (p25) Social Habits • The characters in this book have very little social skills

• They grew up in very bad environments

• All of them had no socialize with, so they kept to themselves

• There is one time where Abdul meets someone who is also a refugee from Iraq

• “Mosul, the man said. Kirkut, Abdul told him, naming the place of his father’s birth. It was easier if they were both Iraqi Kurds. They at least had a starting point to trust each other.”(p30)

• That conversation explained to us, why Abdul had poor social habits, it’s because he is distrustful

• This may be the reason why the other characters do not like having conversations as well

• “He was used to looking after himself on the road, but it had been a long time since he’d look after other people. Not since Iraq. He’d missed it. It felt normal. This is what people did when they weren’t on the run.-Abdul”(p84)

• The characters in this story have been alone so long they forgot what being around other people was like • With all the troubles the refugees faced , they did not hold onto any customs or traditions

• However, as the characters had flashbacks there were some customs and traditions explained

• Abdul’s Family- “His mother now wore a hijab, which she had never done before, because women with their hair uncovered were threatened.”(p77)

“With it or without it, I am still who I am, she told Abdul when he asked her about it.”(p77)

• Rosalia lost her family when she was very small, she was then sold to a group of men after her uncle could no longer take care of her. The author does not continue her story after she escapes, so we don’t know say of her customs or traditions

• Cheslav was in the military and because of how strict the officials were the students of the military academy were not allowed to follow customs or traditions they had. Customs/Traditions Secondary Notes

• Traditional family values are important to Kurdish people, and relationships between family members close. Families are usually large and Kurds live alone only in exceptional situations. Family usually consists of more people than the so called nuclear family, and often many generations belong to the family. Connection to relatives, who live far away, is tight. They keep in touch with them, for example, by phone or computer.

• Respecting older people and hospitability are central to Kurd culture. Kurds tend to be hospitable, which is one of the basic principles of every self-respecting Kurd. Kurds like to entertain guests and gather together to celebrate traditional festivals. The most important festival is the New Year’s Festival. It is celebrated on the 21stof March in all parts of Kurdistan. Also Kurds living outside the area of Kurdistan celebrate it.

• Many Kurds have been forced to move out from their birth country. They live in a minority position in most countries of Europe. The young, who live in West, have gotten influences from school and the main cultures of the country they live in.

• Germans take their days off seriously, and one example of this is the law that assures no unnecessary noise is made on Sunday and holidays. No one is seen working outside as well. You cannot wash your car, make repairs or even hang up laundry. This so-called Sunday quiet law is just that, a law

• You'll see another side of your hosts the first time you have to line up, such as at supermarket cash register or a street car. People often object to lining up, and you may find yourself elbowed out of the way if you don't politely stand your ground. No matter what happens remember to keep smiling. Research How does the culture we are born into affect the kind of person we become?
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