Afghan-born American author Khaled Hosseini was appointed a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador in 2006 and has demonstrated exceptional commitment to working on behalf of the millions of people around the work forced to flee their homes.

Khaled knows what it’s like to be a refugee. He was a teenager living in Paris, where his father worked as a diplomat when the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan on Christmas Eve 1979. His family ended up seeking asylum in the United States.

As a Goodwill Ambassador, Khaled has made several visits to see UNHCR’s frontline work for refugees traveling to Lebanon, Italy, Afghanistan, Chad, Iraq, Jordan and Uganda. After one of his journeys back to Afghanistan, Khaled established The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, which partners with UNHCR and raises funds to build homes for thousands of refugee returnees.

In September 2018 he partnered with the UNHCR to release the film and poem, Sea Prayer. The website of the UNHCR explains, “Sea Prayer is a father’s reflection as he watches over his sleeping son, on the dangerous journey across the sea that lies before them. It is also an account of their life in Homs, Syria, before the war, and of that city’s swift transformation from a home into a deadly war zone.”

Teaching Ideas:

Consider using the following Project Zero Thinking Routines to begun reflection on the poem:


Consider this film and poem. Examining it closely.

  • What do you see?
  • How do you feel?
  • What do you think about that?
  • What does it make you wonder?

The Three Whys

  • Why might this story matter to me?
  • Why might it matter to people around me [family, friends, community, city, nation]?
  • Why might it matter to the world?

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