Paperback: 192 pages
Publisher: Arabia Books, 2011
Product Dimensions:19.8 x 13 x 1.6 cm
Sarmada, Arabic for ‘perpetuate’ or ‘the eternally-not-changed, is the name of the novel’s fictitious setting. In the title, Fadi Azzam creates a new word (a derivative female form of noun-verb, which does not exist in Arabic) and in so doing immediately lets the reader know that women are the protagonists of this story that spans several generations, from Syria to Paris and back again.
A world away from Damascus, the novel is set in the Druze area and is a declaration of love for tolerance and for the peaceful coexistence of the many religious groups that live in close proximity. Myths, communists, nationalists, murder, illicit love, superstition and erotic trees make up the tapestry of this strange novel. Fadi Azzam narrates, just as he writes poetry, meaning Sarmada is direct, ruthless and full of fire.