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About the book
  • Published: 26 April 2012
  • ISBN: 9781742534350
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook

The People Smuggler: The True Story of Ali Al Jenabi

The gripping, inspiring and confronting story of how one man escaped from Saddam's Iraq and eventually became 'the Oskar Schindler of Asia'.

At once a non-fiction thriller and a moral maze, this is one man's epic story of trying to find a safe place in the world.
When Ali Al Jenabi flees Saddam Hussein's torture chambers, he is forced to leave his family behind in Iraq. What follows is an incredible international odyssey through the shadow world of fake passports, crowded camps and illegal border crossings, living every day with excruciating uncertainty about what the next will bring.
Through betrayal, triumph, misfortune – even romance and heartbreak – Ali is sustained by his fierce love of freedom and family. Continually pushed to the limits of his endurance, eventually he must confront what he has been forced to become.
With enormous power and insight, The People Smuggler tells a story of daily heroism, bringing to life the forces that drive so many people to put their lives in unscrupulous hands. It is an utterly gripping portrait of a man cut loose from the protections of civilisation, attempting to retain his dignity and humanity while taking whatever path he can out of an impossible position.
'This is a story that had to be told.' The Weekend Australian
'An engrossing account of a man seen by some as a saviour and others as a criminal. A significant book.' Thomas Keneally
'Gripping.' The Age
'Tight, powerful and extraordinarily well written … a book which glories in the strength, courage and compassion of the human spirit.' The Drum
'Just mindblowing … a moving saga of endurance and bravery.' The Australian Way (Qantas Magazine)
'A totally riveting story about a brave and honourable man. Passionate, vivid and true, it bounces off the page.' Rosie Scott

  • Pub date: 26 April 2012
  • ISBN: 9781742534350
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook

About the Author

Robin de Crespigny

Robin de Crespigny has spent three years working with Ali Al Jenabi to write his story. She is a film maker and lives in Sydney. This is her first book.

Awards & Recognition

  • Human Rights Award

    Winner • 2012 • Literature Award

  • Queensland Literary Awards

    Winner • 2012 • Non-Fiction

  • Walkley Award for Excellence in Journalism

    Shortlisted • 2012 • Literature Award

  • Waverley Library Award for Literature

    Shortlisted • 2012 • Best Book

  • Ned Kelly Awards

    Winner • 2013 • True Crime

  • Australian Book Industry Awards

    Shortlisted • 2013 • General Non-Fiction Book of the Year

  • Australian Book Industry Awards

    Shortlisted • 2013 • Newcomer of the Year

  • Stella Prize

    Longlisted • 2013 • Best Book

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