12 Best Books About Syria Update 05/2022

Books About Syria

Another story about Syria is making the rounds again. One more chemical attack was reported last week, and the evidence again points to the government of Syria’s dictator, Bashar al-Assad, as the people who did it. They used a nerve agent and chlorine to attack civilians in a besieged part of the country, and they did it again.

Because chemical weapons have been used before, this isn’t the first time they have been. Sarin gas was used to kill more than 1,000 people and almost caused the United States to join the war. I went to the site of a sarin gas attack in Syria last year as a reporter for the Guardian newspaper. As before, this attack has raised the possibility that the United States could get involved in the fight against Assad, which is being fought there (America has been fighting in Syria for years now, but it has focused its attacks on the terrorist group ISIS).

So, it’s time for us all to find out more about Syria. The war has just begun its eighth year. It started out as peaceful protests for change that turned into an armed insurrection that was also hijacked by extremists, and a brutal regime that has used all kinds of weapons against civilians. Syria is the worst humanitarian disaster of our time because half of the country’s people have been forced to flee their homes. Some people have gone to Europe, but most people live in countries near Syria (3.5 million in Turkey, a million in Lebanon, and 600,000 in Jordan). War is being waged by proxy in a country where 500,000 people have been killed since 2011.

NO TURNING BACK BY RANIA ABOUZEID

NO TURNING BACK BY RANIA ABOUZEID

On the uprising-turned-civil war in Syria, this is one of the best books about Syria that has been written. Abouzeid’s book is based on a lot of trips she made as a journalist to different parts of Syria. She shows how the conflict started as a protest movement and then became more militarized, weaving in lines of displacement, sectarian conflict, extremism, and totalitarian brutality. These people have a lot to say. They include a young man tortured and taken away for fighting for the opposition. A refugee child and her family are also in it. The rebel fighters are also in it. They write in a way that is beautiful and evocative.

WE CROSSED A BRIDGE AND IT TREMBLED BY WENDY PEARLMAN

This book is different because of its format. When it comes to its whole self, it is made up of the raw and unfiltered stories of refugees who left Syria. It goes from the hopeful start of the peaceful revolution to the heartbreak of being away from home. As a result, Pearlman gives Syrians the chance to tell their own stories, and the result is a powerful story that will break your heart many times and then heal it again.

MY COUNTRY BY KASSEM EID

A young activist for the media at the time of the uprising, Eid talks about how he lived through sarin gas attacks on his home town, how he learned to fight the government with guns, and how the town of Moadhamiyah was starved to death. As someone who has lived through war, this book is very moving. It shows how brutal the war was, and how tortured Syrians were forced to flee their country.

THE HOME THAT WAS OUR COUNTRY BY ALIA MALEK

In this book, Alia Malek tells the story of her family’s roots in Syria and how they lived in the Tahaan building in Damascus. She also talks about how her family and their neighbors lived there. She goes back and reclaims her home while we follow along and see how communities in crisis change their identities and find new ways to be who they used to be. In this book, the strong and determined women of her family are a sight to see.

THE IMPOSSIBLE REVOLUTION BY YASSIN AL-HAJ SALEH

THE IMPOSSIBLE REVOLUTION BY YASSIN AL-HAJ SALEH

Saleh is one of the best thinkers about Syria, and he has a lot of great ideas. She hasn’t been seen since 2013, when she was taken by a group of Salafist rebels and hasn’t been seen since then. The book is a collection of essays, and it can be a little academic at times. It’s a good record of the development of the Syrian uprising, as well as an in-depth look at how the totalitarian governments of Syria controlled and ruled their people (a message that is quite relevant and potent today, everywhere).

THE SHELL BY MUSTAFA KHALIFA.

I read the Arabic version of this book, but if it’s even 10% as good, it’ll be worth your money to buy this book. Story: It tells the story of a Christian man who was wrongfully imprisoned as a member of an Islamist group in the Assad regime’s notorious prison and torture chamber in Palmyra. It goes from hysterical, black comedy to despair and the crushing of the human will that is central to Syria’s totalitarian and labyrinthine security apparatus. The author was in prison for a long time, and the book is a mix of what he saw and did. In this book, you will learn a lot about prison literature. It also gives you a sense of why Syrians were so angry with their government.

SYRIA SPEAKS Edited by Malu Halasa, Zaher Omareen, and Nawara Mahfoud

If you can, get a hard copy of this one. It’s a beautiful book that shows the work of dozens of Syrian artists, writers, cartoonists, and revolutionaries who are trying to change the way people think about violence in their country. In this picture, a little girl scrawls the words “Never Again” in Arabic on the wall next to an image of the wheel of Hama, a city where many people were killed by Bashar al-father, Assad’s Hafez, in the 1980s. This is one of the most heartbreaking. It’s beautiful. You should take it.

THE CROSSING BY SAMAR YAZBEK

After fleeing Syria in 2011 because she didn’t like the Assad regime, Yazbek came back and crossed illegally into Syria from Turkey. This was the first of many trips back to her home country to write about life in areas that had been taken over by the opposition. She is now living in exile in Paris, with the hope of the early days of the uprising giving way to darker times, and she doesn’t want to go back.

MY HOUSE IN DAMASCUS BY DIANA DARKE

MY HOUSE IN DAMASCUS BY DIANA DARKE

A book about a British man who moves to Syria and falls in love with the country is one of the best books about Syria in a long time. He buys a house in the old city of Damascus. When Darke can’t stay at home as the crisis worsens, she gives us a beautiful but heartbreaking look at Syria as she knew it. It’s a great travelogue, political history book, and heartfelt look into a human fabric that has been torn apart by war, but it’s also a lot of fun to read.

A LINE IN THE SAND BY JAMES BARR

During colonial times, what machinations were used by the colonial powers in the region to make Syria and Lebanon into modern states? These machinations helped to make Syria and Lebanon what they are today. This book answers those questions, and it’s a great way to learn about the old power rivalries that shaped the area.

ISIS: INSIDE THE ARMY OF TERROR BY MICHAEL WEISS AND HASSAN HASSAN

In this best book on the history of the world’s most notorious terrorist group, you’ll learn about how they came to be. ISIS has become less important in Syria because the group lost territory to American-backed militias in the country. However, the group still poses a threat and the history of its rise is important if we want to stop it from coming back.

Burning Country by Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Shami

Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Shami wrote a beautiful, concise, and sharp book about Syria’s recent history and the inequalities and oppression that led to the uprising there. It skillfully weaves together all the different threads of the conflict, from the rise of extremist groups and the brutality of the government to the efforts of ordinary Syrians to build a democratic society and the lives of people who have fled the country to live in another country.

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