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New Writing from Syria

In this collection, originally featured in the October 2014 issue of Words Without Borders, Alice Guthrie introduces writing from Syria. Alice interviews poet Mohamed Raouf Bachir, who takes a sorrowful inventory; Zaher Omareen finds a lullaby in a story of mistaken identity and loss; and Rasha Abbas observes the onset of madness.

Syria Speaks: An Interview with Zaher Omareen and Malu Halasa
By Beau Bothwell
“He had this sudden realization that what was happening in Hama was happening now.”
The Liberated Voice: Three Writers from Syria
By Alice Guthrie
Their work is deeply entangled with the extreme politics of the context in which they’ve grown up and lived.
The Art of Expressing One’s Agony: An Interview with M. Raouf Bachir
By Alice Guthrie
In short, the ongoing war in Syria is not a revolution.
I Am a Refugee
By Mohamed Raouf Bachir
When they torched my poems they burned me along with them
Translated from Arabic by Thomas Aplin
A Bedtime Story for Eid
By Zaher Omareen
He said they’d taken Omar away naked.
Translated from Arabic by Alice Guthrie
Falling Down Politely, or How to Use Up All Six Bullets Instead of Playing Russian Roulette
By Rasha Abbas
You pour water onto the severed head once again.
Translated from Arabic by Alice Guthrie