The Crossing

Author: Samar Yazbek
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781473527942
Release Date: 2015-07-02
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

'ONE OF THE FIRST POLITICAL CLASSICS OF THE 21st CENTURY'- Observer 'EXTRAORDINARILY POWERFUL, POIGNANT AND AFFECTING. I WAS GREATLY MOVED' Michael Palin FOREWORD BY CHRISTINA LAMB Journalist Samar Yazbek was forced into exile by Assad's regime. When the uprising in Syria turned to bloodshed, she was determined to take action and secretly returned several times. The Crossing is her rare, powerful and courageous testament to what she found inside the borders of her homeland. From the first peaceful protests for democracy to the arrival of ISIS, she bears witness to those struggling to survive, to the humanity that can flower amidst annihilation, and why so many are now desperate to flee.

The Crossing

Author: Samar Yazbek
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781846044885
Release Date: 2016-02-04
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

'ONE OF THE FIRST POLITICAL CLASSICS OF THE 21st CENTURY'- Observer 'EXTRAORDINARILY POWERFUL, POIGNANT AND AFFECTING. I WAS GREATLY MOVED' Michael Palin FOREWORD BY CHRISTINA LAMB Journalist Samar Yazbek was forced into exile by Assad's regime. When the uprising in Syria turned to bloodshed, she was determined to take action and secretly returned several times. The Crossing is her rare, powerful and courageous testament to what she found inside the borders of her homeland. From the first peaceful protests for democracy to the arrival of ISIS, she bears witness to those struggling to survive, to the humanity that can flower amidst annihilation, and why so many are now desperate to flee.

The Crossing

Author: Samar Yazbek
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781846044861
Release Date: 2015
Genre: Journalists

'ONE OF THE FIRST POLITICAL CLASSICS OF THE 21st CENTURY'- Observer 'EXTRAORDINARILY POWERFUL, POIGNANT AND AFFECTING. I WAS GREATLY MOVED' Michael Palin Samar Yazbek was well known in her native Syria as a writer and a journalist but, in 2011, she fell foul of the Assad regime and was forced to flee. Since then, determined to bear witness to the suffering of her people, she bravely revisited her homeland by squeezing through a hole in the fence on the Turkish border. In The Crossing, she testifies to the appalling reality that is Syria today. From the first innocent demonstrations for democracy, through the beginnings of the Free Syrian Army, to the arrival of ISIS, she offers remarkable snapshots of soldiers, children, ordinary men and women simply trying to stay alive...Some of these stories are of hardship and brutality that is hard to bear, but she also gives testimony to touches of humanity along the way: how people live under the gaze of a sniper...how principled young men try to resist orders from their military superiors...how children cope in the bunkers... Yazbek's portraits of life in Syria are very real, her prose is luminous. The Crossing is undoubtedly both an important historical document and a work of literature.

The Morning They Came For Us Dispatches from Syria

Author: Janine di Giovanni
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
ISBN: 9780871403834
Release Date: 2016-05-03
Genre: History

Once in a decade comes an account of war that promises to be a classic. Doing for Syria what Imperial Life in the Emerald City did for the war in Iraq, The Morning They Came for Us bears witness to one of the most brutal, internecine conflicts in recent history. Drawing from years of experience covering Syria for Vanity Fair, Newsweek, and the front pages of the New York Times, award-winning journalist Janine di Giovanni gives us a tour de force of war reportage, all told through the perspective of ordinary people—among them a doctor, a nun, a musician, and a student. What emerges is an extraordinary picture of the devastating human consequences of armed conflict, one that charts an apocalyptic but at times tender story of life in a jihadist war zone. Recalling celebrated works by Ryszard Kapus´cin´ski, Philip Gourevitch, and Anne Applebaum, The Morning They Came for Us, through its unflinching account of a nation on the brink of disintegration, becomes an unforgettable testament to resilience in the face of nihilistic human debasement.

The Home That Was Our Country

Author: Alia Malek
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 9781568585338
Release Date: 2017-02-28
Genre: History

At the Arab Spring's hopeful start, Alia Malek returned to Damascus to reclaim her grandmother's apartment, which had been lost to her family since Hafez al-Assad came to power in 1970. Its loss was central to her parent's decision to make their lives in America. In chronicling the people who lived in the Tahaan building, past and present, Alia portrays the Syrians-the Muslims, Christians, Jews, Armenians, and Kurds-who worked, loved, and suffered in close quarters, mirroring the political shifts in their country. Restoring her family's home as the country comes apart, she learns how to speak the coded language of oppression that exists in a dictatorship, while privately confronting her own fears about Syria's future. The Home That Was Our Country is a deeply researched, personal journey that shines a delicate but piercing light on Syrian history, society, and politics. Teeming with insights, the narrative weaves acute political analysis with a century of intimate family history, ultimately delivering an unforgettable portrait of the Syria that is being erased.

A Woman in the Crossfire

Author: Samzar Yazbeck
Publisher: Haus Pub
ISBN: 1908323124
Release Date: 2012
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Presents the journalist's account of the Syrian uprising, describing her role in an opposition group, encounters with authorities, life with her daughter underground, observations of early demonstrations, and escape to Europe.

Syrian Dust

Author: Francesca Borri
Publisher: Seven Stories Press
ISBN: 9781609806620
Release Date: 2016-04-12
Genre: Language Arts & Disciplines

August 21, 2013: a chemical weapons attack on the suburbs of Damascus reminds the world of the existence of the Syrian war. Hundreds of journalists from every corner of the world rush to the frontier only to leave disappointed when Obama decides not to bomb. They leave behind 200,000 estimated victims, and more than half of a population of 22 million people dispersed or refugeed in nearby countries: the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII according to the UN. Francesca Borri is one of them. But she does not leave. She is thirty years old. For months she covers the battle of Aleppo as a freelance reporter. And she quickly realizes that to report a war is to hide with dozens of women and children, even a baby, born there, in a grave, 'a piece of soil under the ground that is as expensive as three houses' or to scavenge for anything to burn for some warmth, 'a broken slipper, the plastic hand of a toy' or to mistake bloody figments of skull for rubble. To report a war is also to meet with officials more worried about the stain of snow on their Clarks than the people they are supposed to help. It is to explain what is happening in Aleppo to journalists who have only been there once, on vacation, and bought a carpet. It is risking one's life because of the jealousy of a fellow reporter. And it is also about dreaming of driving at night with the windows open, about remembering impossible little things, the particular light on that day in that café at the beach when you were a kid, the eyes of people you love, all the minuscule simple joys that can be lost in a moment. Syrian Dust is a raw and powerful account of the Syrian war that throws the reader right in the middle of it, without any shelter. From the Trade Paperback edition.

The Battle for Home

Author: Marwa Al-Sabouni
Publisher:
ISBN: 0500292930
Release Date: 2017-04-01
Genre:

Drawing on the author's personal experience of living and working as an architect in Syria, this timely and fascinating account offers an eyewitness perspective on the country's bitter conflict through the lens of architecture, showing how the built environment and its destruction hold up a mirror to the communities that inhabit it. From Syria's tolerant past, with churches and mosques built alongside one another in Old Homs and members of different religions living harmoniously together, the book chronicles the recent breakdown of social cohesion in Syria's cities. With the lack of shared public spaces intensifying divisions within the community, and corrupt officials interfering in town planning for their own gain, these actions are symptomatic of wider abuses of power. With firsthand accounts of mortar attacks and stories of refugees struggling to find a home, The Battle for Home is a compelling explanation of the personal impact of the conflict and offers hope for how architecture can play a role in rebuilding a sense of identity within a damaged society.

Syria Speaks

Author: Malu Halasa
Publisher: Saqi
ISBN: 9780863567926
Release Date: 2014-06-16
Genre: Literary Collections

In Syria, culture has become a critical line of defence against tyranny. Syria Speaks is a celebration of a people determined to reclaim their dignity, freedom and self-expression. It showcases the work of over fifty artists and writers who are challenging the culture of violence in Syria. Their literature, poems and songs, cartoons, political posters and photographs document and interpret the momentous changes that have shifted the frame of reality so drastically in Syria. Moving and inspiring, Syria Speaks is testament to the courage, creativity and imagination of the Syrian people. ‘Syria Speaks is a remarkable achievement and a remarkable book – a wise, courageous, imaginative and beautiful response to all that is ugly in human behaviour. This extraordinary anthology gives a voice to those we may have forgotten, or whom we may classify as simply passive and silent victims. The people shown living, dreaming and speaking here are far more than victims and only silent if we refuse to hear them.’ A.L. Kennedy ‘An extraordinary collection, revealing a dynamic and exciting culture in painful transition – a culture where artists are really making a difference ... You need to read this book.’ Brian Eno

City of Thorns

Author: Ben Rawlence
Publisher: Portobello Books
ISBN: 9781846275883
Release Date: 2016-02-04
Genre: Literary Collections

To the charity workers, Dadaab refugee camp is a humanitarian crisis; to the Kenyan government, it is a 'nursery for terrorists'; to the western media, it is a dangerous no-go area; but to its half a million residents, it is their last resort. Situated hundreds of miles from any other settlement, deep within the inhospitable desert of northern Kenya where only thorn bushes grow, Dadaab is a city like no other. Its buildings are made from mud, sticks or plastic, its entire economy is grey, and its citizens survive on rations and luck. Over the course of four years, Ben Rawlence became a first-hand witness to a strange and desperate limbo-land, getting to know many of those who have come there seeking sanctuary. Among them are Guled, a former child soldier who lives for football; Nisho, who scrapes an existence by pushing a wheelbarrow and dreaming of riches; Tawane, the indomitable youth leader; and schoolgirl Kheyro, whose future hangs upon her education. In City of Thorns, Rawlence interweaves the stories of nine individuals to show what life is like in the camp and to sketch the wider political forces that keep the refugees trapped there. Lucid, vivid and illuminating, here is an urgent human story with deep international repercussions, brought to life through the people who call Dadaab home.

My House in Damascus

Author: Diana Darke
Publisher: Haus Pub.
ISBN: 190832399X
Release Date: 2015-01-12
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

How did Syria's revolution reach this its current boiling point? And what's next? This updated edition of My House in Damascus offers an insider's view on these questions and the darker recesses of Syria's history, politics, and society. Diana Darke, a fluent Arabic speaker who moved to Damascus in 2004 after decades of regular visits, details how the Assad regime, and its relationship to the people, differs from the regimes in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya--and why it was thus always less likely to collapse quickly, even in the face of widespread unrest and violence. Through the author's firsthand experiences of buying and restoring a house in the old city of Damascus, which she later offered as a sanctuary to friends, Darke presents a clear picture of the realities of life on the ground and what hope there is for Syria's future. Including additional material on topics like the advance of the Islamic State, as well as a new epilogue describing the current turmoil surrounding her house and the refugees she tried to help, this edition of My House in Damascus powerfully documents the human cost of the ongoing civil war.

In Praise of Hatred

Author: Khaled Khalifa
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781409030997
Release Date: 2012-08-30
Genre: Fiction

1980s Syria, our young narrator is living a secluded life behind the veil in the vast and perfumed house of her grandparents in Aleppo. Her three aunts, Maryam the pious one; Safaa, the liberal; and the free-spirited Marwa, bring her up with the aid of their ever-devoted blind servant. Soon the high walls of the family home are unable to protect her from the social and political changes outside. Witnessing the crackdowns of the ruling dictatorship against Muslims, she is filled with hatred for her oppressors, and becomes increasingly fundamentalist. In the footsteps of her beloved uncle Bakr, she takes on the party, launching herself into a fight for her religion, her country, and ultimately, her own future. On a backdrop of real-life events that occurred during the Syrian regime’s ruthless suppression of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1980s, IN PRAISE OF HATRED is a stirring, sensual story. Its elegant use of traditional, layered storytelling is a powerful echo of the modern-day tragedy that is now taking place in the Middle East.

Burning Country

Author: Robin Yassin-Kassab
Publisher: Pluto Press (UK)
ISBN: 0745336272
Release Date: 2016-01-20
Genre: Political Science

In 2011, many Syrians took to the streets of Damascus to demand the overthrow of the government of Bashar al-Assad. Today, much of Syria has become a warzone where foreign journalists find it almost impossible to report on life in this devastated land.Burning Country explores the horrific and complicated reality of life in present-day Syria with unprecedented detail and sophistication, drawing on new first-hand testimonies from opposition fighters, exiles lost in an archipelago of refugee camps, and courageous human rights activists among many others. These stories are expertly interwoven with a trenchant analysis of the brutalisation of the conflict and the militarisation of the uprising, of the rise of the Islamists and sectarian warfare, and the role of governments in Syria and elsewhere in exacerbating those violent processes.With chapters focusing on ISIS and Islamism, regional geopolitics, the new grassroots revolutionary organisations, and the worst refugee crisis since World War Two, Burning Country is a vivid and groundbreaking look at a modern-day political and humanitarian nightmare.

Cinnamon

Author: Samar Yazbek
Publisher: Haus Publishing
ISBN: 9781906697440
Release Date: 2013-07-02
Genre: Fiction

In the dark of night, Hanan al-Hashimi awakens from a nightmare, confused and shaken. Roaming the house in search of some reassurance, she is drawn towards the streak of light under her husband's bedroom door. Little does she know that the beckoning glow will turn her life on its head...

The Boy From Aleppo Who Painted The War

Author: Sumia Sukkar
Publisher: Eyewear Publishing
ISBN: 9781783015924
Release Date: 2014-12-09
Genre: Fiction

This is a powerful and deeply moving novel chronicling the Syrian War through the eyes of 14 year old Adam who has Asperger Syndrome. It has been adapted into a BBC Radio 4 play. ‘I have the urge to paint, and I can already see the painting in my head… horrible and beautiful all at the same time.’ A gifted artist, Adam expresses the intimate sufferings of his family as they struggle through the Syrian conflict by painting with whatever materials he can find. Having been dependent on his family all his life, he must now cope with separation and loss, including the fates of his devoted sister and brothers who are all caught up in the acceleration of events and forced to live out the consequences both of their own choices and those made for them. The frightening and unpredictable changes, not only for Adam’s family, but also for a once beautiful city and a whole nation, are unfolded with compassion, wit and imaginative force through a spectrum of shifting colors, moods and atmospheres. The novel blends political events, emotional drive and Arabian tradition through a unique perspective, whilst reminding the reader that what human beings really need is dignity, security and love. ‘An outstanding debut novel’ BBC Front Row ‘A moving first novel, written with an insider’s knowledge of the land and its people’ The Times ‘This outstanding novel is a must-read for anyone who hopes to understand the beauty and character that exists within a country torn apart by war. To superimpose the experience of Asperger's upon the experience of war is Sukkar's great achievement and brings a heart-breaking clarity to the suffering, the strength and the hopes of ordinary people caught up in political mayhem.’ The Booktrust