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Khalifa interviewed by Al Hayat – translated by Syrian Observer

[1]The full article (March 3, 2014) is available on the Syrian Observer [2]‘s website.

The Syrian writer Khalid Khalifa moves inside Damascus from one neighborhood to another, moving in what he describes as “bourgeois displacement”. The writer says he doesn’t believe he is entitled to the honor of saying he shares the suffering of real displacement in refugees camps.

Khalifa gained international fame for his his novel ‘In Praise Of Hatred’ which dealt with the events of the 1980s in Syria, and which was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2008.

His novel ‘No Knives in Kitchens of This City’ was published during the tragic crisis overwhelming the country, and was recently shortlised for the Arabic Booker Prize 2014, along with five other novels. Although the novel didn’t deal with events during the revolution, as its main subjects deal witht he emergence of the Baath Party, the death of Hafez Assad and then the fear that inhabited the lives of Syrians afterwards, it still reflects Khalifa’s position towards the Syrian revolution which he considers a legitimate way to face injustice.

Like many other Syrian artists, Khalifa was assaulted by Syrian security forces in May 2012 during the funeral of one of his pro-opposition friends. Nonetheless, the experience did not deter Khalifa from staying in Damascus, choosing to stay in his city. From one of those Damascus neighborhoods, Khalifa granted this Internet interview to Al-Hayat.

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