"I appreciate the hard work of the translator Ghassan Hamdan, who translate tirelessly all the modern Iranian, Afghan, and Kurdish literature into Arabic."
"In the quiet, slow-growing love between Elias and Helen, the reader experiences the polar opposite of the slave market and the horrors in Ayash's house."
"Madeen’s character is inexhaustible, and I like to keep my characters alive, especially the ones I wrote in my early years; now I can add some reality to give them life again. Like a journalist or someone looking for the truth."
"Why was I sitting here, wearing this uniform, with these people whose language I hardly understood?"
"The word eib rings in my head, it is eib to love, to sing, to get sick, to divorce, to show your emotions...and.…and. I felt these social chains were burdening me with fear, despair, and confusion, and I almost abandoned work on the book, but when I looked at the materials that I had collected, I knew that if I didn’t publish it now, it would never be published.”
"That day, Ali Salman went to watch the first public execution in al-Thawra City."
"In this first week, we focus on work by novelist Abdullah al-Sakhi, who was born in 1951, left Iraq in 1979, and published his first novel looking at Iraq's internal migrants, Behind the Dam, in 2008."