Fixpoetry, about “The Crossing”: “You can tell some from Yazbek’s description of some scenes, that words are not enough to convey what is happening in Syria”

22 September 2015 149 views No Comment Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

TheCrossing-GermanCoverA review by  Elke Engelhardt, for Fixpoetry, September 17, 2015. Below are translated excerpts.

Regarding Syria, there is a tragic mismatch in the perception of the situation in that country, and the needs of the people there. On the one hand there are people like Samar Yazbek, who expose themselves to great risks in order to repeatedly report on the situation on the ground, give a voice to the people there that no one listens to, and on the other hand, there is persistent policy of turning a blind eye for over four years (…)

Syria as a mixture of religions and ethnicities may no longer be there, but what there is, in this country that does not come to rest, is an infinite number of stories. Women and men, children and old people, who are all suffering and have a great need to tell their stories. On this particular point, Yazbek’s book remind me of of Svetlana Alexievitch’s “The war has no female face”. While Alexijewitsch focused on the untold stories of women during the Second World War, Yazbek tells the stories of all, men, children, and women alike (…) But what is common to these books is the importance of hearing out the experiences of those affected by war (…)

You can tell some from Yazbek’s description of some scenes, that words are not enough to convey what is happening in Syria. For incomprehensible are the horror, the violence and arbitrariness. Or is it that the imagination of people like me, protected and guarded for decades, living in peace, is just not enough to make a picture of the suffering of those who have no choice (…)

Samar Yazbek provides no answers to these questions (…) She herself believes that this is the least she can do for their compatriots who have remained inside. And she has done more than she thinks.

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