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Sunday, 8 September 2013

Syrian Fiction and Music

Hello everyone,
Back to blogging after a loooooong summer pause.
Syria seems to be on everybody's minds at the moment, and we all ask ourselves whether we should support some form of military action. I do, for the simple reason that at this stage I can't think of any other form of action, and because to me the use of chemical weapons against civilians is a red line. If it is not, what the hell is? But I'd like to offer a different perspective on Syria today, and recommend Sarmada, a novel by Fadi Azzam, a journalist now in exile in Dubai. The truth is I haven't read it, so I can't say much about it, except that the New Yorker found it very good. You'll find the review on their website. I also recommend the Syrian music band Tanjaret Daghet, whose name means "pressure cooker," because as lead vocalist and guitar player Khaled Omran says, "if you don’t let the steam come out, there will be an explosion." Plenty of videos on Youtube.

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