Hoda Barakat was a guest of Chiasso Letteraria 2016: Seconda classe, in Italy, and was interviewed by Stefano Montefiori, for La Lettura, Corriere della Sera, April 24th, 2016. Below, excerpts of a summary of this conversation, published on the blog imago 2.0.
Hoda Barakat, a Lebanese writer, after a period of great participation in events and discussions on the Arab world and its alleged features, decided to thin out her appearances in public, especially in the literary events currently focusing on the relationship between Europe and Islam in her second home, France.
Belbol’s father just passed away in a Damascus hospital. His last request to his son was to be burried in his hometown of Aannabiya, in the province of Aleppo. Damascus, the Syrian capital, is under the control of the Assad regime while Aleppo is under the controle of the rebels and extremist factions. Driving from one area to another, with a body in the car, is expectedly quite a difficult task… Through this journey, and with his characteristic visual and sensual writing, Khalifa depicts with accuracy what Syria has become.
In The crossing, Yazbek describes the transformation of the Syrian conflict from a popular uprising to a monstrous war dominated by religious extremism. Syrians have been robbed of their revolution as the world watches in silence.
With the story of the people of Bsharre, a small Maronite community in the Northern mountains of Lebanon, Barakat tackles the broad and difficult question of minorities in the Middle-East and elsewhere: