Yazbek to MailOnline, “the role of a writer in society is to bring a voice to the people with none”

8 July 2015 126 views No Comment Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

SyrianFamily_Yazbek“Troops snatched young boys from their mothers’ arms and ‘tore them apart with bullets’: New book reveals the harrowing fate of Syrians trapped living under President Assad and the butchers of ISIS”

By Imogene Calderwood, for MailOnline, July 8th, 2015

Photo credit: Samar Yazbek

The grim reality of life in Syria is told through the eyes of the down-trodden and oppressed refugees living there in a harrowing new book.

Syrian journalist Samar Yazbek has told how people are trapped between ISIS barbarians and president Bashar al-Assad’s brutal regime live in constant fear of beheadings and bomb strikes.

Samar fled the war-torn country in 2010 after criticising Assad – but sneaked back in three times to get accounts from people living on the front line who have carved out lives among the rubble. (…)

n the homes of the families she visited, Samar met children who kept pieces of shrapnel as souvenirs, and spoke with grandparents who refused to take shelter during bomb raids because they want to die with dignity.

The families she met had carved out a life among the rubble.

A mother in one Saraqeb household, wearing a colourful headscarf and a dress at odds with the grey rubble of her home, laughed as she described how it was like she was playing a game with the sniper who guarded the street outside her home. ‘The son of a b****,’ she called him (…)

‘This was no metaphor, but reality. They didn’t think about any big issues, they weren’t interested in understanding the military situation or the political context; they had no space to think. All they could do is struggle to survive.

‘Would there be any water to wash their faces in the morning? Was one meal going to be enough to feed several mouths? Would any of them reach the end of their natural lifespan? (…)

‘Finding yourself on the ground in a revolution doesn’t require any observation or analysis; you don’t need to know how each day will end,’ wrote Samar, during her final crossing.

‘All you need are calm nerves and the ability to stay on top of things minute by minute.

‘You must hold yourself together and stand strong when confronted by mutilated human body parts and the colossal destruction of homes.

‘You simply have to walk up to tiny fingers and gather them up from under the rubble. Just pull out the body of another child, her clothes still warm from her urine.

You simply have to walk up to tiny fingers and gather them up from under the rubble. Just pull out the body of another child, her clothes still warm from her urine. And then move on to the next site and carry on searching for more victims
Journalist Samar Yazbek

‘And then move on to the next site and carry on searching for more victims.’

Now living in exile in Paris with her daughter, Samar admitted that she felt she had to return in order to bear witness to the suffering of her people.

‘I am a writer, and the role of a writer in society is to bring a voice to the people with none,’ she told MailOnline, when asked why she felt she had to return.

‘I wanted to give the world an idea of what is really happening.

‘I think it’s a travesty for the international community not to see the real suffering of the Syrian people.’

 

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