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[16 Apr 2020 | No Comment | 76 views]
” ‘Death is hard work’ but life is just as troublesome!” FAZ interviews Khaled Khalifa as his novel “There are no knives in the kitchens of the city” is about to get published in Germany

Interviewed by Lena Bopp for FAZ, April 13, 2020
In his novels, Khaled Khalifa goes to court with the Syrian regime. Nevertheless, the writer still lives in Damascus and voluntarily returns to his home country from every trip abroad. How can that be?
 

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[16 Apr 2020 | No Comment | 38 views]
“Love and loneliness in Syria” “powerfully and subtly” written, “memorable” – The Guardian reviews Dima Wannous’ The frightened ones, just published by Harvill Secker

By Maya Jaggi, published by The Guardian, on April 15, 2020
Midway through Dima Wannous’s novel, the narrator recalls a neighbour who fell sick during a dire shortage of doctors and medicine. The woman’s daughter had to take time off work to hunt for a hospital bed. “So, silently, I begged my own mother not to fall ill,” she says, to “not contract a virus or other disease.”
As well as having a chilling resonance today, the anecdote offers a glimpse of daily life for millions of Syrians since the 2011 revolution. …

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[30 Jan 2020 | No Comment | 49 views]
Sinan Antoon’s OpEd for The New York Times “I will visit your grave when I go to Iraq”

By Sinan Antoon, Iraqi author, Published on December 16, 2019, by The New York Times.

Safa al-Sarray was killed when Iraqi forces fired a tear-gas canister at his head.

Iraqis have been protesting since early October against the dysfunctional and corrupt political system installed by the United States after the 2003 occupation. Unlike previous waves of protests that began in 2011, this protest was spontaneous and not organized by any party.
The most common and passionate slogan throughout these protests has been, “We want a homeland.” It reflected the anger and alienation Iraqis felt toward …

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[21 Jan 2020 | No Comment | 31 views]
“Essential and disquieting” – Le Point reviews Yazbek’s 19 women

“Samar Yazbek, the soldier of Syrian memory”
By Victoria Gairin, for Le Point
(Photo credit: Rania Stephan)
Revealing the truth is what drives Samar Yazbek. “Quick, before we all sink into collective amnesia. I am so afraid that we will all lose our memories… We cannot retain from a conflict only figures!” Yet they are there, relentless and monstrous, yet another record of an endless conflict. More than 380,000 dead in almost 9 years, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights on Saturday January 4.

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[21 Jan 2020 | No Comment | 39 views]
“If you want to include everything that was destroyed only in the first minute of a war, you can never get past that first minute” – Sinan Antoon, about his latest book “The book of collateral damage”, interviewed in FAZ, Germany

 Lena Bopp interviews Sinan Antoon for FAZ

 January 2020

Two final questions translated here:

Your last novel “The book of collateral damage” (“Index”) is (…) a kind of archive, a catalog full of things that once existed in Iraq and that are lost
I imagine the terrible concept of collateral damage as a black hole that swallows up everything: houses, people, animals, trees. Everything that life is. The book is also about the possibility of archiving. 

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[21 Jan 2020 | No Comment | 16 views]
Le Monde interviews Hoda Barakat in their series of five interviews dedicated to important authors: “I am happy to respect sacred texts, but language itself is not scared”

By Christophe Ayad, For Le Monde, July 2019
(Photo credit: Lea Crespi, Pasco)
Great talks with great writers 2 | 5. The Lebanese writer, translated all over the world, received the coveted “Arab Booker” in April. This meeting takes place in Paris, her adopted city, where she talks about literature, religion, and the civil war that ignites the Arab world.
(…)