Samar Yazbek’s US Tour

Yesterday, Syrian novelist, TV presenter, and memoirist Samar Yazbek arrived in the U.S. for the opening of a ten-city, two-week tour:


Memoir: Teta, Did You Know Aleppo?

Poet, translator, and memoirist Mishka Mojabber Mourani looks at a photograph of her Teta Marie and wonders: Did her teta know Aleppo? Does she know that Aleppo is burning?

Syrian Novelist Nihad Sirees: ‘Creative Writing is Stalled Today’

Many thanks to Max Weiss for translating this excellent interview with novelist Nihad Sirees for Jadaliyya and for bringing it to my attention. It was originally published in Al-Safir as “Nihad Sirees: I am with fundamental change but I am afraid of revolutions.” In it, Sirees — who recently decided that he must leave Aleppo, Syria — agrees with Ahdaf Soueif about it not being a time for fiction:

Video Series on Arab Cartoonists: Ali Farzat

At first it was very difficult. My fingers were quickly stiff. Now it is a little better, but if I draw for a long time, it becomes painful. Especially in the nerves. It feels like they are electrificed. But tmy hope is that my drawings are even stronger than before, a million times stronger.

Syria’s ‘War Literature’

Over at Syria Today, Sarah Abu Assali writes this month about Syria’s “war literature.” She discusses the work of acclaimed playwright Mohammad al-Attar, International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF)-shortlisted novelist Khaled Khalifa, “Beirut39”-winning novelist Samar Yazbek, and acclaimed short-story author Zakaria Tamer, Naguib Mahfouz… Read More ›

Reading as Witness

I am in the middle of reading Samar Yazbek’s A Woman in the Crossfire: Diaries of the Syrian Revolution (trans. Max Weiss, available next month), and it is very possibly the most painful book-experience I have ever had. Every few pages,… Read More ›