- R A Y A | agency for Arabic literature - http://www.rayaagency.org -

The Times Literary Supplement reviews books on Syria: Yazbek’s is a “powerful and deeply painful”

TheCrossing-UK-Cover [1]Lydia Wilson, for The Times Literary Supplement, [2] published on the 23rd of September 2015.
An excerpt is featured below.

 

Well into its fifth year, the conflict in Syria only seems to worsen every day, the news impossible to foresee from one month to the next, with warnings from the UN, NGOs and charities growing ever more desperate. And all the while the feelings of helplessness grow. What can we do? Or, increasingly, what should we have done? Would early intervention have been the better option, stopping, or at least slowing, the carnage, the rise of sectarianism and extreme Islamism? Should the West have dug out those moderate opposition fighters and armed the right ones? And if so, is it now too late to do so?

Meanwhile, the civilians pay the price. Syria, a country with a population of under 23 million, now has the highest number of IDPs (Internally Displaced People) in the world: around 7.6 million. One in every four refugees (almost 4 million) in the world is Syrian: 43 per cent of the entire population is displaced. Deaths resulting from the conflict are hard to verify: the UN, well known for being conservative, says that the toll has surpassed 220,000; the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights puts the number at 320,000. UN humanitarian missions are being blocked or ignored by the regime, despite the soaring poverty levels – three out of four citizens were living in poverty by the end of 2013.

Samar Yazbek brings these horrifying statistics to life in her powerful and deeply painful The Crossing: My journey to the shattered heart of Syria, beautifully translated by Nashwa Gowanlock and Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp. After fleeing to France in 2011, Yazbek made three trips to Idlib province in northern Syria, illegally crossing the Turkish border – all too easy, then and now – thus charting the changing fortunes and attitudes of the opposition forces and giving a rich portrait of this province, “liberated” from the regime early in the civil war and relentlessly bombarded by air and land in return. She charts with grief the rise of the Islamists and their claim to the revolution, which the secular idealists could only stand and witness given their critical lack of weapons to counter the foreign-funded jihadists.

A fine novelist, Yazbek makes her experiences palpable; visceral fear and anger – and pride in her compatriots – thread through the account. Her deep commitment to understanding her interviewees, along with the virtuosic prose, make her characters and their stories indelible

A fine novelist, Yazbek makes her experiences palpable; visceral fear and anger – and pride in her compatriots – thread through the account. Her deep commitment to understanding her interviewees, along with the virtuosic prose, make her characters and their stories indelible: there is the regime soldier refusing to rape a Sunni girl and so shot in the back by his officer, a friend defecting the same night to live and tell the tale; the seven-year-old girl nightly recounting stories of injury and death in the cellar during bombing raids – “my little Scheherazade”, Yazbek calls her; the two old women who refuse to seek shelter or flee with their family, reminiscent of characters in a novel by Gabriel García Márquez; the foreign jihadists manning checkpoints and the spurt of anger from Syrians at this new form of occupation (…)

Post to Twitter [9]

Buy Fluconazole [10] Phentermine And Methamphetamine [11] Grapefruit [12] Took 100Mg Viagra [13] Brand Cialis With Prescription [14] Online Tramadol Pharmacy [15] Ultram Online Without Prescription [16] Levitra Multiple Orgasm [17] Levitra Multiple Orgasm [18] Cialis Tadalafil Information Page [19] Cialis Tadalafil Information Page [20] Buy Generic Cialis Overnight Delivery [21] Cheap Cialis Generic [22] Viagra Order Canada [23] Viagra Order Canada [24] Canadian Levitra Plus Online Cheap [25] Augmentin Xr [26] Augmentin Xr [27] Tramadol Check Cod [28]