Articles Archive for November 2012
In both the book and in life, Ms. Yazbek, a novelist, oscillates between embracing the Alawite label and rejecting it, loath to paint the uprising in sectarian colors. It is a common sentiment among the limited number of Alawites who have publicly joined the revolution.
“I had never cared whether I was an Alawite or not,” she said, speaking in Arabic over coffee in a Midtown Manhattan hotel. “It was like someone saying you had blue eyes.”
SvD interviews Samar Yazbek
Published on November 19th, 2012
Photo credit: Dan Hansson
As soon as the Syrian uprising erupted against the Assad regime in March 2011, Samar Yazbek travel around the country to describe the regime’s brutality and listen to people who have suffered sieges, bombing and shelling during the mass demonstrations against the dictatorship that ruled for 40 years. She, who previously made a name for herself for having violated social taboos in her novels, now became an active witness to the Syrians rebelled against the Assad regime.
Samar Yazbek is alawit …
In this lies the conflict that Douaihy recounts, that between Muslim and Christian realities, of which Nizam becomes a metaphorical symbol. At twenty, when he gets to Beirut, in the turmoil of the revolution, with the outbreak of the civil war, he must come to terms with his being Muslim and Christian. A dual membership to the two communities, seen not only with suspicion but decidedly rejected. The narrative power of Douaihy lies in his strong belief in the real possibility of telling emblematic stories, with strong characters who are never forgotten. Stories that become emblematic, like are the solitude and the identity of the torn protagonist.
Samar Yazbek, author of the literary account “In the crossfire”, will be awarded the PEN Tucholsky prize in Stockholm on November 15th.
Since 1985, the Swedish PEN Tucholsky Prize is awarded to writers who made special efforts for freedom of speech. It has over the years been awarded, among others, to Salman Rushdie, Bei Dao and Nuruddin Farrah.