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Media Release
September 14, 2018
Halifax, NS

Tima Kurdi, author of The Boy on the Beach, to speak at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21

September, just three years ago, the photo of Alan Kurdi, “the boy on the beach” shook the world. Almost overnight, the image became an emblem of the global refugee crisis, changing the public and media perception of the refugee’s plight. The boy was Tima Kurdi’s nephew. The tragedy and photo propelled her into the life of an activist, author and international spokesperson for refugees. Her first novel, The Boy on the Beach, is an intimate and poignant memoir about her family’s journey across countries and continents, and a global call to action.

On Sunday, September 23rd at 7:00 pm, The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 welcomes Tima for Pier 21 Reads. Tima will share her family’s story, discuss her book and read excerpts. A Q&A and book signing will follow. This is a free event, presented in English.

In advance of the event, participants are invited to explore Refuge Canada from 6:00 to 6:45 pm. The Refuge Canada exhibit explores Canada’s place in the global refugee crisis and will contextualize the Kurdi family’s story. The image of Alan Kurdi can be seen in Refuge Canada.

Tima Kurdi is available to the media for phone interviews leading up to her event.

Space is limited. Visitors are asked to reserve their seats online at:

Pier 21 Reads: Tima Kurdi
Sunday, September 23
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Kenneth C. Rowe Hall
Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
1055 Marginal Road, Halifax, NS B3H 4P7

Quick Facts:

  • Pier 21 Reads is a public reading and book signing by an acclaimed Canadian author at the Museum, which encourages dialogue on themes of immigration and Canadian identity.
  • Tima Kurdi is a mother and hairdresser whose life was thrust into the spotlight when images of her 2-year-old nephew Alan Kurdi went viral. Tima became an internationally recognized spokesperson who has collaborated with governments, businesses, and citizens worldwide to help raise awareness about the global refugee crisis. She, along with her brother Abdullah, co-founded the Kurdi Foundation.
  • Tima Kurdi’s first novel, The Boy on the Beach is an intimate memoir about the Kurdi family’s journey, reflection on the tragedy and investigation of the Syrian civil war and refugee crisis.
  • Alan Kurdi was two-years-old when he drowned in September of 2015 in the Mediterranean Sea along with his mother, Rehanna and brother Ghalib. His father, Abdullah, survived. The Kurdis were Syrian refugees trying to reach the Greek island of Kos.

“I will be sharing mine and my family’s story before and after the war in Syria, our experiences and the hardships they faced after the war began. My memoir, The Boy on the Beach, is a call to action in the hopes that I can reach people to get them involved in helping others.” - Tima Kurdi

“It’s an honour to welcome Tima Kurdi to the Museum for Pier 21 Reads to share her book and her family’s moving story with us. The Boy on the Beach is a poignant, first-hand account of the impact of the refugee crisis on an individual family who had no choice. Her work is a harrowing reminder that anyone can become a refugee, and no one wants to be a refugee. This same sentiment is expressed in our exhibit Refuge Canada. As a memoirist and spokesperson, Tima shows not only the resilience and courage of a survivor, but also how one individual voice can sometimes be the spark that ignites change.” - Marie Chapman, CEO, Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21


Media Contact
Beatrice Houston Gilfoy, Communications Specialist
Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
Telephone: (902) 425-7770 ext. 264 C : (902) 430-3986

About the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21
The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 collects, shares and pays tribute to the Canadian immigration story. The Museum is situated in Halifax, Nova Scotia at Pier 21, the National Historic Site that served as the gateway to Canada for nearly one million immigrants between 1928 and 1971. Today, the Museum shares the stories and experiences of all immigrants to Canada, past to present day. The Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 enhances public understanding of the experiences of immigrants to Canada, highlights the vital role immigration has played in the building of our country and the contributions of immigrants to Canada’s culture, economy and way of life. It is Canada’s sixth national museum and the only one located in Atlantic Canada.