Book Launch: Burning Country – Syrians in Revolution and War
Join author and media commentator Robin Yassin-Kassab in conversation with Malu Halassa to launch Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War (Pluto, 2016), his new title co-authored by Leila Al-Shami.
In 2011, many Syrians took to the streets of Damascus to demand the overthrow of the government of Bashar al-Assad. Today, much of Syria has become a warzone where foreign journalists find it almost impossible to report on life in this devastated land. Burning Country offers a unique grassroots perspective on the Syrian opposition movement – a biting and forceful polemic against the international community’s failure to give material support to those fighting the Assad government. It explores the horrific and complicated reality of life in present-day Syria with detail and sophistication, drawing on new first-hand testimonies from opposition fighters, exiles lost in an archipelago of refugee camps, and courageous human rights activists among many others. These stories are interwoven with a trenchant analysis of the brutalisation of the conflict and the militarisation of the uprising, of the rise of the Islamists and sectarian warfare, and the role of governments in Syria and elsewhere in exacerbating those violent processes.
Robin Yassin-Kassab is a regular media commentator on Syria and the Middle East and the author of the critically acclaimed novel The Road From Damascus (Hamish Hamilton, 2008) and contributor to Syria Speaks (Saqi, 2014).
Malu Halasa is an editor, writer and curator based in London. Her books include Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline, The Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie: Intimacy and Design, Creating Spaces of Freedom: Culture in Defianceand Kaveh Golestan: Recording the Truth in Iran. Her essays, publications, exhibitions and lectures showcase the culture and politics of a complex and changing Middle East.