Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline

Syria Speaks is a collection of “art and culture from the frontline” of the Syrian revolution published simultaneously in English and Arabic at a time when the revolution had been underway for three years and been transformed into an armed conflict in which millions of Syrians had been displaced both internally and externally, and in … Continue reading Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline

Dear World: A Syrian Girl’s Story of War and Plea for Peace

It’s hard for the average Western middle-class child, ensconced in relative safety, to imagine what it must be like to live in a country that is experiencing a revolution. ‘Dear World: A Syrian Girl's Story of War and Plea for Peace’ by Bana Alabed, is a short, compelling book written by a mother and daughter … Continue reading Dear World: A Syrian Girl’s Story of War and Plea for Peace

The Silence and the Roar

  I was back visiting one of my favorite countries, Lebanon, when I purchased The Silence and the Roar in a chic mall in Beirut in 2013.  My friend was downstairs purchasing a pair of Valentino boots and I was browsing the newly translated offerings in English from Arabic when I came across Nihad Sirees’ … Continue reading The Silence and the Roar

“Lament for Syria”

  Lament for Syria by Amineh Abou Kerech Syrian doves croon above my head their call cries in my eyes. I’m trying to design a country that will go with my poetry and not get in the way when I’m thinking, where soldiers don’t walk over my face. I’m trying to design a country which … Continue reading “Lament for Syria”

Breaking Knees

  'Breaking Knees': Sixty-three Very Short Stories from Syria is not about refugees or civil war. Nor do the stories involve terrorists. Conversely, Zakaria Tamer’s very short tales take place behind the front door, in living rooms and over coffee, between neighbors, and, most importantly, between the sheets. Relationships between women and men lay at … Continue reading Breaking Knees

The Arab of the Future

  Riad Sattouf's The Arab of the Future, a widely acclaimed graphic novel published first in French and then in translation in English, German, Spanish, Portuguese and several other languages, is a work of extraordinary candour. Sattouf, who has a Syrian father and a French mother, shows minimal restraint when he portrays in pictures and … Continue reading The Arab of the Future

Folktales from Syria

  For such a small collection of stories, Folktales from Syria packs an interesting punch for an English reader. Beginning with an introduction by Andrea Rugh, this collection works to inform and educate the reader as much as it does to entertain. In the Preface, Rugh takes the reader through her meeting with Samir Tahhan, … Continue reading Folktales from Syria

The Crossing: My Journey to the Shattered Heart of Syria

  '[...] she held out a hand above my head. "Do you swear by God that you'll tell the world what I have to say?" she                            asked. "I swear." "Swear by the thing you hold most dearly deep in your heart." I swore quietly, and as her palm came down on my head … Continue reading The Crossing: My Journey to the Shattered Heart of Syria

No Knives in the Kitchens of This City

Review by: Lindsey Hilsum Channel 4 News' International Editor Most western TV viewers know Aleppo as a violent, divided, destroyed city where children covered in bomb dust cry amongst jagged ruins, or are rushed to makeshift hospitals along debris-strewn streets. Khaled Khalifa’s Aleppo, by contrast, is a place of alleyways and elegant perfume stores, of … Continue reading No Knives in the Kitchens of This City

Amid the Literature of Syria, the Cradle of Civilization

By Nuri Al-Khalaf Syrian Literature Month Editor It has been said that Arabs took soil with them while they travelled - to smell it and be reminded of their homelands. Today, Syrians are taking with them their dreams, hopes, pains, memories and literature wherever their feet take them after the disastrous events in their country. … Continue reading Amid the Literature of Syria, the Cradle of Civilization