When Jamal Saeed was seventeen-years-old, he watched as his family home was raided by soldiers of the al-Assad regime. He was arrested at nineteen for passing out pamphlets and was subsequently held in prison, without charge, without seeing a lawyer or judge, for twelve years.  After his years as a prisoner of conscience in Syria, he was invited to Canada in 2016. He continues to raise awareness about Syria’s ongoing civil war and humanitarian crisis through his work as an activist, editor, visual artist, and author.  

Jamal is the author of the children’s book Yara’s Spring, which explores her complicated childhood growing up in Aleppo, Syria, as a revolution, and eventually the Arab Spring unfurls. Open Book calls it “a powerful, tense, and toughly beautiful story of overcoming impossible odds and holding onto love in the most difficult circumstances, Jamal Saeed’s… is a book for every young reader.”  

Jamal lives with his family in Kingston, Ontario.

Jamal is supported by the Kingston Writers Refugee Committee through the Author Patron program.

Appearing in:
14. The Lost Boy: Fiction