Aftonbladet on The Crossing: “Yazbek’s book on Syria is indispensable… a painfully beautiful prose”

30 November 2015 121 views No Comment Email This Post Email This Post Print This Post Print This Post

rp_130913-WashtingonPost-SamarYazbek-150x1501.pngElise Karlsson, for Aftonbladet, November 13th, 2015

Even after a country has ceased to exist, people continue to live in it. When the snipers monitor the streets, neighbors open their houses to allow passage, through this alternative road. At night, every night, when the bombs fall, you run you down in the basement with the kids and talk to each other while the paint falls from the ceiling in white flakes.

When the bombs fall so often that it no longer makes sense to be above ground, people move down below the surface. Ancient Roman tombs are opened and become the new home of a whole family… 

In a city that is so degraded that it can hardly be regarded as a city anymore… Even here, life continues after all the destruction – that of Bashar al-Assad’s army attacks and the jihadist groups that exploited the chaos in what was Syria. “There were still some safe places, and people lived in the midst of the devastation. If I had read this in a book I would not have believed it.” This is what it means to live in a tattered country, a country that is barely a country anymore… Man flees for one reason: The desire to live.

Author and journalist Samar Yazbek is one of the many who have been forced to leave Syria. Nevertheless, she has in recent years returned there on several occasions, secretly entering the country, at the risk of his own life. In the North, the liberated part, she has managed projects to help women build their own lives, to become self-sufficient….

During these trips have Yazbek also observed and gathered testimonies, those became The Crossing. The book describes a hellish hike..

Samar Yazbek’s book on Syria is indispensable. Not only because it is an eyewitness account, nor because of the painfully beautiful prose, crisply translated by the award-winning Marie Anells, making the horrors so close to the reader. But because Yazbek conveys a clear depiction and a holistic perspective on the war which we are so happy to ignore. The war that requires clear demands on the countries that benefit from it to be stopped.

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