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Children’s Book Reading: The Unexpected Friend

February 20, 2021 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm PST

Join Eastwind Books of Berkeley online for children’s story time featuring a live read-aloud of The Unexpected Friend: A Rohingya Children’s Story with author Raya Rahman.

The story centers around Faisal, a young Rohingya boy in a Bangladeshi refugee camp, who finds a bird with a broken wing and decides to take care of it with his sisters. Life in the camp is not always easy, so the children are thrilled to have a pet to look after. But as the bird’s wing slowly heals, they are faced with a difficult choice. Can they let go of something they dearly love?


Copies of The Unexpected Friend: A Rohingya Children’s Story are available for order at www.asiabookcenter.com. Choose to ship your orders to your home or select in-store pick up at Eastwind Books of Berkeley, 2066 University Ave., Berkeley, CA 94704.

About the Book
In the midst of a sprawling refugee camp in Bangladesh, Faisal, a young Rohingya boy, finds an injured bird and decides to take care of it with his sisters. Life in the camp is not always easy and the children are thrilled to have a pet to look after. But as the bird’s wing slowly heals, they face the dilemma of holding on to or losing something they dearly love.

Thoughtfully illustrated with detailed imagery, The Unexpected Friend is a fictional story based on the real lives of Rohingya children living in the refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh. Their individual stories were compiled through the dedicated work of aid agencies Save the Children, Plan International and World Vision and transformed into a storybook in partnership with Guba Publishing, for the purpose of gifting it to the children in the camps.

The Rohingya are a Muslim minority of 1.3 million, formerly living in the Rakhine State within Myanmar. Risking death by sea or on foot, nearly 700,000 have fled the destruction of their homes and persecution in the northern Rakhine province of Myanmar (Burma) for neighboring Bangladesh since August 2017. Bangladesh now houses 1.1 million Rohingya refugees in the world’s largest refugee camp.

Themed around universal childhood joys that are relatable by all children, the story helps young children to empathize with situations that are different than their own. With artwork that authentically depicts life in a crowded refugee camp, ‘The Unexpected Friend – A Rohingya Children’s Story’ is a fitting book to introduce children to social justice, specifically the worldwide refugee humanitarian crisis. Profits from the sale of this book will be donated to Save the Children’s Rohingya Relief Fund.

About the Author
Raya Rahman is the founder of Guba Publishing. After a decade of working in the corporate world, she now partners with other authors, illustrators and non-profit organizations to publish diverse and multicultural children’s stories and learning resources. Raya lives in Oakland, California with her husband and their two spirited daughters, who were her main inspiration for starting a children’s publishing house.

About the Illustrator
Inshra Russell is the founder of a boutique creative services agency called Studio Inku, that works in partnership with Guba Publishing to create high quality picture books for children. Inshra is a multi-platform content creator with a portfolio of projects that includes short films, photography, illustrations, graphic design and video production. She lives in London, U.K. with her husband and their son, Ruben. Find her on www.studioinku.com.

Eastwind Books Multicultural Services (EBMS) is a 501(3)c non-profit dedicated to the promotion and accessibility of Asian American and Ethnic Multicultural Literature. Our events are for educational purposes and we appreciate your tax deductible donations. EBMS is the community education arm of Eastwind Books of Berkeley which is comprised of a dedicated staff of booksellers, artists, poets and community workers.


February 20, 2021
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm PST
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Eastwind Books
(510) 548-2350
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