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[11 Jan 2017 | No Comment | 21 views]
Barnes and Nobel recommends Khalifa’s “magnificent No knives in the kitchens of this city”

 
By David Ulin, for Barnes and nobels, published January 9, 2017
Why do we read fiction? There are as many answers to that question, I suppose, as there are readers, but for me, one of the primary reasons is empathy. Whatever else it bestows, fiction opens up the inner life, collapsing the distance between us and its narrators, its characters, connecting us at the level of the heart. To read a novel is to know someone else on the most intimate level, to sit with them, to grieve with them, to …

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[26 Sep 2016 | No Comment | 80 views]
The Guardian about Khalifa’s No knives: “A pleasure to read… the writing is superb”

By Robin Yassin-Kassab, The Guardian, September 24, 2016
Were Syrians wise to revolt? Aren’t they worse off now? Such questions misapprehend the situation. Syrians didn’t decide out of the blue to destroy a properly functioning state. The state had been destroying them, and itself, for decades. In No Knives in the Kitchens of This City, Khaled Khalifa, poet, screenwriter and Syria’s most celebrated contemporary novelist, chronicles this long political, social and cultural collapse, the “incubator of contemporary demons”.

The story stretches back to the first world war and forward to the American …

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[21 Apr 2016 | No Comment | 67 views]
Sinan Antoon writes in The Guardian – About the Southwest airlines incident, and speaking Arabic

Sinan Antoon wrote this piece for The Guardian, April 19th, 2016
There was a time when one could speak Arabic on a flight in the United States, or even read a book written in that language, without hesitation or the fear of suffering humiliating consequences. That time is long gone. Many colleagues and friends confess that they try to avoid carrying Arabic or Persian books on flights in order not to invite suspicious looks.

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[6 Apr 2016 | No Comment | 76 views]
Writing about a country disintegrating – Sinan Antoon

By Farid Farid, for The Guardian, March 2015
“How do you write about a country that is disintegrating?” says Sinan Antoon, on the line from his office at New York University. His words have taken on a more affective valency in recent days, as the notorious militants from Islamic State (Isis) released footage showing the graphic destruction of Assyrian and Akkadian artefacts in Mosul’s central museum.

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[10 Mar 2016 | No Comment | 38 views]
Yazbek’s The Crossing is on the long list of the Orwell prize

The Orwell Prize is Britain’s most prestigious prize for political writing. It is awarded each year for the book which come closest to George Orwell’s ambition to ‘make political writing into an art’.
Samar Yazbek is on the Orwell’s long list with her book on Syria, The Crossing. The winner will be announced end of May.

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[3 Mar 2016 | No Comment | 50 views]
The Crossing among the best books of 2015, according to The Guardian

Carla Kweifio-Okai, about The Crossing, for The Guardian, December 2015
The Syrian refugee crisis was the defining story of 2015. For exiled Syrian journalist Samar Yazbek, it was deeply personal and years in the making. In this compelling read, Yazbek weaves her experiences of the civil war with snapshots of the life cycle of the crisis – from early street demonstrations against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, to the multi-faceted conflict we face today.