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My Country

A Syrian Memoir

Kassem Eid Janine di Giovanni



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Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
04 February 2020
'Powerful ... A humbling and important first-hand account of a brutal civil war in which as many as 500,000 people have died' Guardian 'A memoir of resistance and survival unique in the annals of modern war ... If the shedding of blood can be beautiful in words, he makes it so' Wall Street Journal Born to Palestinian refugees, Kassem Eid grew up in the small town of Moadamiya on the outskirts of the ancient city of Damascus, playing in streets perfumed with jasmine. But it didn't take long for Kassem to realise that he was treated differently at school because of his family's resistance to the brutal government regime. When Bashar al-Assad succeeded his father in 2000, hopes that things might change for the better were swiftly crushed. When the 2011 Arab Spring protests in Syria were met with extreme violence, it was yet another blow - and as Kassem reached young adulthood, the country spiralled into civil war.

Then, on 21 August 2013, Kassem nearly died in a sarin gas attack that killed hundreds of civilians. Later that day, he would pick up a gun for the first time, to join the Free Syrian Army as they fought government forces. For Kassem, this marked the moment that he and his country changed forever - even as the rest of the world turned its face away.
By:   Kassem Eid
Introduction by:   Janine di Giovanni
Imprint:   Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Country of Publication:   United Kingdom
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 129mm, 
Weight:   164g
ISBN:   9781408895139
ISBN 10:   1408895137
Pages:   224
Publication Date:   04 February 2020
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Kassem Eid is a Palestinian-Syrian rebel and human rights activist. In 2014 he went on a speaking tour across the United States and testified before the United Nations Security Council. He has contributed to the New York Times, Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, and was interviewed on 60 Minutes. He is currently a refugee living in Germany.

Reviews for My Country: A Syrian Memoir

A memoir of resistance and survival unique in the annals of modern war ... If the shedding of blood can be beautiful in words, he makes it so * Wall Street Journal * At last, here is the first wave of books written by Syrians not about their escape to Europe as refugees from the war but about their lives inside the country ... What emerges is a remarkably unified picture of the realities of life since 1970 in the Syria of the Assads ... shows, unambiguously, precisely what the Assad government seeks to conceal * Times Literary Supplement * A valuable perspective absent from much of what has already been written on Syria ... An epic view of what Syria was and has become * Arab Weekly * An account of oppression, war, survival and escape as the world ignored what was going on. A touching tale, this humanises the story of war when often all we want to do is look away * Metro, The best new books by BME authors you'll be reading this year * Eid's story is one of hope giving way to fear and finally betrayal, a narrative of one of this century's darkest episodes, a necessary perspective, made more prescient because it is persona * The National * Gripping, hauntingly raw, and a testament to his resilience * The Intercept * Powerful ... Tightly-focused ... A first-person, eyewitness account written with alternating love and fury * Prospect *

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