Author: Samar Yazbek
Publisher: Random House
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.
Author: Samar Yazbek
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2015
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, and 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 bunkers. . . Yazbek's portraits of life in Syria are very real, and her prose, luminous. The Crossing is undoubtedly both an important historical document and a work of literature.
A well-known novelist and journalist from the coastal city of Jableh, Samar Yazbek witnessed the beginning four months of the uprising first-hand and actively participated in a variety of public actions and budding social movements. Throughout this period she kept a diary of personal reflections on, and observations of, this historic time. Because of the outspoken views she published in print and online, Yazbek quickly attracted the attention and fury of the regime, vicious rumours started to spread about her disloyalty to the homeland and the Alawite community to which she belongs. The lyrical narrative describes her struggle to protect herself and her young daughter, even as her activism propels her into a horrifying labyrinth of insecurity after she is forced into living on the run and detained multiple times, excluded from the Alawite community and renounced by her family, her hometown and even her childhood friends. With rare empathy and journalistic prowess Samar Yazbek compiled oral testimonies from ordinary Syrians all over the country. Filled with snapshots of exhilarating hope and horrifying atrocities, she offers us a wholly unique perspective on the Syrian uprising. Hers is a modest yet powerful testament to the strength and commitment of countless unnamed Syrians who have united to fight for their freedom. These diaries will inspire all those who read them, and challenge the world to look anew at the trials and tribulations of the Syrian uprising.
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...
Author: Janine di Giovanni
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2016-05-03
A New York Post Best Book of 2016 Winner of the 2016 IWMF Courage in Journalism Award Winner of the 2016 Hay Festival Medal for Prose "Destined to become a classic." —Lisa Shea, Elle A masterpiece of war reportage, 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 page of the New York Times, award-winning journalist Janine di Giovanni chronicles a nation on the brink of disintegration, all written through the perspective of ordinary people. With a new epilogue, what emerges is an unflinching picture of the horrific consequences of armed conflict, one that charts an apocalyptic but at times tender story of life in a jihadist war zone. The result is an unforgettable testament to resilience in the face of nihilistic human debasement.
Author: Nader Hashemi
Publisher: MIT Press
Release Date: 2013-09-05
Genre: Political Science
The current conflict in Syria has killed more than 80,000 people and displaced four million, yet most observers predict that the worst is still to come. And for two years, the international community has failed to take action. World leaders have repeatedly resolved not to let atrocities happen in plain view, but the legacy of the bloody and costly intervention in Iraq has left policymakers with little appetite for more military operations. So we find ourselves in the grip of a double burden: the urge to stop the bleeding in Syria, and the fear that attempting to do so would be Iraq redux. What should be done about the apparently intractable Syrian conflict? This book focuses on the ethical and political dilemmas at the heart of the debate about Syria and the possibility of humanitarian intervention in today's world. The contributors--Syria experts, international relations theorists, human rights activists, and scholars of humanitarian intervention--don't always agree, but together they represent the best political thinking on the issue. The Syria Dilemma includes original pieces from Michael Ignatieff, Mary Kaldor, Radwan Ziadeh, Thomas Pierret, Afra Jalabi, and others. Contributors: Asli Bâli, Richard Falk, Tom Farer, Charles Glass, Shadi Hamid, Nader Hashemi, Christopher Hill, Michael Ignatieff, Afra Jalabi, Rafif Jouejati, Mary Kaldor, MarcLynch, Vali Nasr, Thomas Pierret, Danny Postel, Aziz Rana, Christoph Reuter, Kenneth Roth, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Fareed Zakaria, Radwan Ziadeh, Stephen Zunes
Author: Diana Darke
Publisher: Haus Publishing
Release Date: 2014-08-15
The ongoing conflict in Syria has made clear just how limited the general knowledge of Syrian society and history is in the West. For those watching the headlines and wondering what led the nation to this point, and what might come next, this book is a perfect place to start developing a deeper understanding. Based on decades of living and working in Syria, My House in Damascus offers an inside view of Syria’s cultural and complex religious and ethnic communities. Diana Darke, a fluent Arabic speaker who moved to Damascus in 2004 after decades of regular visits, details the ways that 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.
Author: Matthew Cassel
Release Date: 2013-12-31
Genre: Political Science
An English PEN Award–winning collection of personal testimony from participants in the Arab Spring As revolution swept through the Arab world in spring of 2011, much of the writing that reached the West came via analysts and academics, experts and expats. We heard about Facebook posts and tweeted calls to action, but what was missing was testimony from on-the-ground participants—which is precisely what Layla Al-Zubaidi and Matthew Cassel have brought together in Diaries of an Unfinished Revolution. These essays and profoundly moving, often harrowing, firsthand accounts span the region from Tunisia to Syria and include contributors ranging from student activists to seasoned journalists—half of whom are women. This unique collection explores just how deeply politics can be held within the personal and highlights the power of writing in a time of revolution. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Prize-winning journalist and the co-author of smash New York Times bestseller I Am Malala, Christina Lamb, now tells the inspiring true story of another remarkable young hero: Nujeen Mustafa, a teenager born with cerebral palsy, whose harrowing journey from war-ravaged Syria to Germany in a wheelchair is a breathtaking tale of fortitude, grit, and hope that lends a face to the greatest humanitarian issue of our time, the Syrian refugee crisis. For millions around the globe, sixteen-year-old Nujeen Mustafa embodies the best of the human spirit. Confined to a wheelchair because of her cerebral palsy and denied formal schooling in Syria because of her illness, Nujeen taught herself English by watching American soap operas. When her small town became the epicenter of the brutal fight between ISIS militants and US-backed Kurdish troops in 2014, she and her family were forced to flee. Despite her physical limitations, Nujeen embarked on the arduous trek to safety and a new life. The grueling sixteen-month odyssey by foot, boat, and bus took her across Turkey and the Mediterranean to Greece, through Macedonia to Serbia and Hungary, and finally, to Germany. Yet, in spite of the tremendous physical hardship she endured, Nujeen's extraordinary optimism never wavered. Refusing to give in to despair or see herself as a passive victim, she kept her head high. As she told a BBC reporter, "You should fight to get what you want in this world." Nujeen's positivity and resolve infuses this unforgettable story of one young woman determined to make a better life for herself. Told by acclaimed British foreign correspondent Christina Lamb, Nujeen is a unique and powerful memoir that gives voice to the Syrian refugee crisis, helping us to understand that the world must change—and offering the inspiration to make that change reality.
An architect’s gripping account of living and working in war-torn Syria, and the role architecture plays in whether a community crumbles or comes together 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.
Author: Alia Malek
Publisher: Nation Books
Release Date: 2017-02-28
Alia Malek weaves a lyrical narrative around the history of her family's apartment building in the heart of Damascus, the many lives that crossed in the stairwell, and how the fates of her neighbors reflect the fate of her country. 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, delivering an unforgettable portrait of the Syria that is being erased.
In the secluded house of her grandparents a young Muslim girl is raised by her aunts but as tensions in Syria through the 1980s rise, the walls are no longer enough to shield them from the political and social chaos outside.
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
'This is a very Syrian novel, illustrating sectarian co-existence and providing glimpses of the country's mystical and literary wonders. Political history is integrated smoothly into the narrative. Azzam's criticism of dictatorship is scathingly precise.' The Independent'The novel's gaze reaches toward an understanding of what Syria will need to grapple with in order to bring about a true Syrian Spring.' The New YorkerThe town of Sarmada, Arabic for 'perpetuate' or 'the eternally-not-changed', is the novel's fictitious setting. Women are the protagonists of this story, that spans several generations and extends from Syria to Paris and back again. Sarmada is set in the Druze area and is a declaration of love for tolerance and for the peaceful coexistence of the many religious groups that live there in close proximity. The Druze baptise their children and celebrate Christian holidays; however, the priests regularly collect money to build houses for Muslims and Druze alike.Myths, communists, nationalists, murder, illicit love, superstition, erotic trees and women's breasts make up the tapestry of this beguiling and enchanting novel. Sarmada is direct, ruthless and full of fire, full of irony and satire all told in a language and voice that is entirely unique. 'This is a very Syrian novel, illustrating sectarian co-existence and providing glimpses of the country's mystical and literary wonders. Political history is integrated smoothly into the narrative. Azzam's criticism of dictatorship is scathingly precise.' [The Independent]. 'The novel's gaze reaches toward an understanding of what Syria will need to grapple with in order to bring about a true Syrian Spring.' [The New Yorker] The town of Sarmada, Arabic for 'perpetuate' or 'the eternally-not-changed', is the novel's fictitious setting. Women are the protagonists of this story, that spans several generations and extends from Syria to Paris and back again. Sarmada is set in the Druze area and is a declaration of love for tolerance and for the peaceful coexistence of the many religious groups that live there in close proximity. The Druze baptise their children and celebrate Christian holidays; however, the priests regularly collect money to build houses for Muslims and Druze alike. Myths, communists, nationalists, murder, illicit love, superstition, erotic trees and women's breasts make up the tapestry of this beguiling and enchanting novel. Sarmada is direct, ruthless and full of fire, full of irony and satire all told in a language and voice that is entirely unique.