Soon to be a major motion picture, The Swimmers will be released on Netflix in 2022
'An extraordinary tale of bravery, survival, and winsome, never-give-up moxie. It is impossible not to be won over by Yusra.' – Khaled Hosseini
Being a refugee is not a choice. Our choice is to die at home or risk death trying to escape.
When war broke out in her native Syria, Yusra Mardini fled to the Turkish coast in 2015 and boarded a small dinghy full of refugees bound for Greece. When the small and overcrowded boat's engine cut out, it began to sink. Instinctively, Yusra and her sister took to the treacherous open water and pushed the boat for three and half hours, helped by two other refugees, until they eventually landed on Lesbos, saving the lives of the passengers aboard.
Butterfly is the story of that remarkable woman, whose journey started in a war-torn suburb of Damascus and took her through Europe to Berlin and from there to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.
Yusra Mardini is an athlete, one of People magazine’s twenty-five women changing the world, on the list of TIME Magazine's most influential teens, and one of the the youngest UNHCR Goodwill Ambassadors. A major Netflix film adaptation of her life story will be released in 2022, written by Jack Thorne.
Yusra, we could not be prouder of you for your courage and your resilience and the great example that you're setting for children everywhere.
President Barack Obama
Yusra has an incredible story: she fled the war in Syria with her sister, and was part of a group trying to reach Greece by boat. When the motor failed, Yusra, her sister and two others swam in open water for more than three hours to stop their dinghy from capsizing, saving the lives of twenty people. She is now the youngest ever UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, and you can all read her incredible story in her autobiography, Butterfly.
War, for all its atrocities, is punctuated by instances of unfathomable human spirit and grace. Olympic swimmer Yusra Mardini’s story is a prime example. Butterfly recounts this Syrian refugee’s extraordinary tale of bravery, survival, and winsome, never-give-up moxie. It is impossible not to be won over by Yusra, who once swam for her life at sea and is now fighting for the dignity and wellbeing of countless refugees like her whose lives have been upturned by war.