A well-known novelist and journalist from the coastal city of Jableh, Samar Yazbek witnessed the first four months of the uprising firsthand and actively participated in a variety of public actions and budding social movements. Throughout this period she kept ;a diary. Because of the outspoken views she published in print and online, Yazbek quickly attracted the attention and fury of the regime, and vicious rumours started to spread about her disloyalty to the homeland and to the Alawite community that she belongs to.
This lyrical narrative weaves together her independent struggle to protect herself and her young daughter even as her activism propels her into a daunting labyrinth of insecurity after she is forced from her home into living on the run and detained multiple times, expelled from the Alawite community and repudiated by her family, her hometown and even her childhood friends.
With rare empathy and journalistic rigour she began to compile oral testimonies from ordinary Syrians, both as a means of documenting contemporary history and as a way for her to better understand the forces that contributed to the outbreak of the uprising. Filled with snapshots of exhilarating hope and horrifying atrocities, Samar Yazbek offers us a wholly unique perspective on the Syrian uprising, encompassing countless unnamed, individual Syrians who have united to fight for their freedom. These diaries will inspire all those who read them and challenge the world to look anew at the Syrian uprising.
‘As powerful a book as I’ve read in years’