Jean Hatzfeld for Le Monde des Livres, April 15 2016
Les Portes du néant, à la frontière turque, s’ouvrent une première fois sur la route qui mène à la région d’Idlib, dans le nord-ouest de la Syrie. Samar Yazbek les franchit en août 2012, en se faufilant dans un trou creusé sous des barbelés. Une voiture l’attend, qui traverse la nuit sur un fond sonore de bombardements, avec à l’intérieur Maysara et Mohammed, deux frères d’armes rebelles : ses anges gardiens.
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:
In the Spring of 2015, Hoda Barakat was on the shortlist of the International Man Booker Prize.
Discover her latest novel, The Kingdom of this Earth!