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A Woman in the Crossfire: Diaries of the Syrian Revolution Paperback – August 28, 2012


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Haus Publishing (August 28, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1908323124
  • ISBN-13: 978-1908323125
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.5 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #409,506 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"An essential eyewitness account, and with luck an inaugural document in a Syrian literature that is uncensored and unchained."—Kirkus Reviews

"She has the novelist's eye for telling detail…Hers is the urgent task of showing the world what is happening. Thanks to her, we can read about the appalling things that go on in secret, underground places."—The Guardian

"Her book is infused with a hauntingly poetic narrative style. Chilling, disturbing, but irresistibly compelling."—The Daily Star

"Four new books confront the [Syrian] revolution head-on…Of the four writers, Samar Yazbek provides the most arresting, novelistic prose…uncompromising reportage from a doomed capital."—The Spectator

"Impassioned and harrowing memoir of the early revolt…"—New York Review of Books

"The heartbreaking diary of…a Syrian who risked her life to document the regime's brutal attacks on peaceful demonstrators."—The Inquirer

"Its importance is in its existence, the effort of so many Syrians to share their stories and Yazbek's own courage and ability to record them."—The National

"It's heavy and horrible, like so much related to the war. But the book also reminds that Syria is—was—utterly beautiful."—CNN

'If you want to put a face on the Syrian revolution, try an activist named Samar Yazbek…she’s a walking refutation of the argument that the conflict in Syria is simply a sectarian civil war between Assad’s Alawites and the Sunni majority. —David Ignatius, Washington Post

About the Author

Samar Yazbek is a Syrian writer and journalist, born in Jableh in 1970. She is the author of several works of fiction. An outspoken critic of the Assad regime, but also of what she identifies as erroneous perceptions of ideological conformity within the Syrian Alawite community, Yazbek has been deeply involved in the Syrian uprising since it broke out in March, 2011. Fearing for the life of her daughter she was forced to flee her country and now lives in hiding. Yazbek was awarded the PEN/Pinter International Writer of Courage Award in 2012, awarded to an author of outstanding literary merit who casts an 'unflinching' eye on the world. She is also the author of the novel Cinnamon (2012).

More About the Author

Born in 1970 in Jable, Syria, Samar Yazbek studied literature before beginning her career as a journalist and a script writer for Syrian television and cinema. She is a novelist, and the author of 'A woman in the crossfire' (Haus for English, Buchet-Chastel for French, Nagel & Kimche for German). Samar Yazbek now lives in France.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Pskovian on December 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
Samar Yazbek's A Woman in the Crossfire: Diaries of the Syrian Revolution is the book that elicits strong feelings. For me, those were the feelings of disbelief that fellow human beings can inflict such pain upon each other but also the feelings of hope in the human spirit and its resilience.

Yazbek's book documents the first 100 days of the Syrian Revolution, which began with demonstrations in March 2011. As the conflict, which initially followed a `traditional Arab Spring scenario' with demands for freedoms and cessation of corruption, escalated into a civil war along sectarian lines, Yazbek analyses how that sectarianism was fostered. She also explores the beginnings of the Syrian refugee problem. A relatively small number of refugees in the period, documented by Yazbek, turned into hundreds of thousands of refugees and a few millions of internally displaced persons. The book captures the period when the exodus began.

Yazbek, through hundreds of interviews conducted with opposition leaders, reconstructs the events in Dar'a (in the southwest, on the border with Jordan) and Baniyas (in the northwest, on the Mediterranean coast), the two towns where some of the worst atrocities by the Syrian regime were committed. Yazbek also explores the roles of the Syrian army, the security services, and the shabiha (civilian sectarian militia) in the revolution.

Yazbek provides a perspective on the conflict that should not be taken for granted. She is an Alawi, of the same ethnic group as the president, but was shunned by her community for her oppositional beliefs. She is a woman and a mother in the revolution that we associate with pictures of young men in their 20s.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Charles F. Robinson on January 8, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This author has done her country a great service by risking her life and her homeland to report through the medium of a diary the atrocities of the Assad regime. I will long remember and mourn for those Syrians demonstrating for some form of democracy. The cruelty will surely be recorded in modern history as the worst of any Arab country.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jeff wade on March 12, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My copy had a dogleg about 150 pages in where it went back to page 88 for about 20 pages & I never got back the missing pages. Unfortunately, not a big loss. As others said, it gets pretty repetitive and bleak.

Nonetheless, she is a great writer and the repetition and bleakness was Assad's fault, as he truly did and still does horrible things to his people. Hopefully his end is soon and my copy was a fluke.

Regardless, more people should read this to know what really is happening there.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By DrDan on December 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If one were to judge the book just on the courage of the writer, then it would rate five stars. However, despite some interesting details and some literary flourish, the book drags on after the first 80 pages or so. The stories become rather predictable, the actors identical, the circumstances consistent. It brings home the brutality of the Assad regime as it hangs onto power, but it isn't something that continues to hold interest over time...
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