Mia Z.* is 18 years old and from Homs in Syria. She currently lives in Barcelona with her mother and two sisters.
It was a Monday morning in 2011, when my life changed forever. I was 12, and a friend and I were on our way to school when the bombing started. We ran for our lives, got separated and I headed towards my house. When I got home I was alone and in shock – my mum was at work and my sisters were at university. I was freaking out, desperate to forget what was happening all around me, so in an attempt to shut it out, I decided to read a book.
I clicked around online for a while when I found something called Unbroken. I wasn’t that into reading back then, but as I started to read I felt calmer. The voices, the screaming and the sirens took a backseat, I just focused on the book. From then on, reading became my way of escaping and understanding the horrors taking place around me.
* The name of the author has been changed for safety purposes.