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[25 Nov 2012 | No Comment | 239 views]
The New York Times – Portrait of Samar Yazbek

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.”

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[20 Nov 2012 | No Comment | 118 views]
SvD, Sweden, interviews Yazbek

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 …

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[9 Nov 2012 | No Comment | 143 views]
“Saint Georges was looking away” – Avvenire reviews Douaihy’s Chased away

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.

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[8 Nov 2012 | No Comment | 195 views]
Samar Yazbek awarded the PEN Tucholsky prize

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.

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[30 Oct 2012 | No Comment | 83 views]
Frankfurter interviews Jabbour Douaihy

The writer and literature professor Jabbour Douaihy is one of the foremost intellectuals of Lebanon. He wants to investigate the violence that shook this country again and again, by literary means. For decades, his family was involved in a blood feud that in the fifties, fell in one day twenty victims. The events of that time has Douaihy processed in his novel “June rain”. By mail, he gives me his phone number. I called.

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[18 Oct 2012 | No Comment | 112 views]

While the story is ostensibly a domestic one about the narrator and her wealthy household of aunts who must choose between a life of self-denying spinsterhood or rebellious marriage, at its core it is about violence: the religiously motivated violence of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the counter-violence inflicted by a secular government. The two forces are locked into a mutual cycle of hatred, each atrocity sparking the next.