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Abu Bakr
al Rabeeah

Abu Bakr al Rabeeah is a high school student who co-authored Homes: A Refugee Story with English language arts teacher Winnie Yeung. Homes was shortlisted for the 2018 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing, a 2018 Governor General’s Literary Award in nonfiction, and CBC’s Canada Reads in 2019. It was also the first Canadian book selected as OverDrive’s Big Library Read in April 2019. Originally from Basra, Iraq and Homs, Syria, Al Rabeeah now lives in Edmonton.


Abu Bakr al Rabeeah and Winnie Yeung on their award-nominated book "Homes: A Refugee Story"

Award History

2018 Finalist

Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing
for Homes: A Refugee Story

Jury Citation

"The Syrian Civil War is a humanitarian catastrophe with global political consequences. In Homes, Winnie Yeung gives the crisis a tender, unforgettable human face, working with Abu Bakr al Rabeeah to detail his flight from the bombed-out streets of Homs to the snowy avenues of Edmonton. This extraordinary story is about the resilience of family in the face of profound terror; Yeung writes with a deceptively simple, meticulously observing eye and novelistic attention to plot and character. As Canadians grapple with the complexities of welcoming thousands of refugees, they would do well to read the powerfully affecting story of Homes."
— 2018 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing Jury (André Picard, Angela Sterritt, and Chris Turner)

Works recognized by WT