“An advance of this size is uncommon for a first-time author,” says the publisher’s spokesperson Cathy Johnston. “Especially for one who has never been able to attend school, and does most of her writing while hiding in the cellar during airstrikes.”
“But just knowing what kind of impact the diary will have after Nilu dies in a Russian airstrike, we are confident her book will be a huge hit.”
The diary contains the little girl’s innermost thoughts and hopes, and will one day be read by countless middle-schoolers as the world tries to put a human face on the Assad government’s inhuman massacre of its citizens.
Publishers have been interested in the project since the beginning of the civil war in 2012, but when the US closed its borders to Syrian refugees last week, negotiations heated up considerably.
“Undoubtedly Trump’s ban, alongside general western indifference to the atrocities in Syria greatly increased the value of the soon-to-be posthumously published work,” explained Johnston.
Though the book is destined to be a colossal success, Nilu’s father, Victor Muhammed, called it a “mixed blessing at best,” adding, “I just hope it will serve as a warning to never let these kinds of atrocities happen again. I mean, after reading something like this, how could you?”