The Lightless Sky: A Twelve-Year-Old Refugee's Harrowing Escape from Afghanistan and His Extraordinary Journey Across Half the World

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6.0 X 1.4 X 9.0 inches | 1.2 pounds

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About the Author

Gulwali Passarlay was sent away from Afghanistan as a young boy, fleeing the conflict that had claimed his father's life. After an extraordinarily tortuous journey across eight countries, Gulwali arrived in the United Kingdom a year later and has most recently devoted his new life to education. Now twenty-one years old, he is set to graduate from the University of Manchester with a degree in politics. Gulwali is a member of many prestigious political, aid, and youth groups, each a stepping-stone to his ultimate goal: to run for the presidency of Afghanistan.


"The Lightless Sky is a heart-rending read that illuminates the plight of unaccompanied minors forced to leave their homes and loved ones. [Passarlay's] powerful account is a testament to the courage of all those fleeing conflict in search of safety."--The Independent (UK)
"A powerful account of a year-long journey .... [a] life that was almost snuffed out so prematurely is now bursting with promise."--The Times (London)
"A tale of fortitude and friendship told through a child's eyes, Gulwali's story casts much needed light on the difficult decisions refugees are forced to take about who to trust and how to stay alive against a backdrop of political indifference."--The Refugee Council (UK)
"A tale of gracious triumph over all sorts of adversity as the author describes his life as a refugee and his arduous journey... This is a harrowing but necessary must-read about an exceptional young man, adding context to so much of what we read in the papers."--Stylist (UK)
"At once deeply upsetting and entirely inspiring, this is the story of a young boy who faced tremendous misfortune and danger on his journey from Afghanistan to Britain... this young man's journey demands to be read, and his story and achievements celebrated."--World Travel Guide
"The Lightless Sky is a remarkably vivid memoir [that] leaves you fearing for Gulwali's safety and admiring his utterly tenacious resolve against overwhelming odds; but at the same time it is also a fearsome reminder of the experiences being endured by numberless, anonymous migrants."--The Herald (Scotland)