Saturday, October 13, 2012

Syrian writer Samar Yazbek: 'A woman like me makes life difficult'

Syrian novelist Samar Yazbek was born into a wealthy Alawite family, but became 'a traitor to her kind' to fight the Assad regime. Her latest work is a visceral, nightmarish account of the revolution that drove her into exile

"........"It's a revolution of the poor against the rich, but as they began killing people and got increasingly cruel, more people are joining the rebellion," she says. It doesn't matter that she is from a privileged background, and has little in common with many of those fighting. "It's a problem of conscience. It's not a problem of Sunni, Shiite or anything else."

She reiterates this later. "It's not a sectarian war. It's a revolution. The regime makes it a sectarian crime between the people. It's not true.

"There is a big risk, now, for the revolution – they are confronting much more repression. It's dividing the societies in Syria and the opposition is becoming much more cruel."

Is she losing hope of establishing the structures of civil society? "I don't think all hope is gone. I think there are many in Syrian society who are working to keep the civil institutions. We are at a very risky point … I'm afraid that if the world doesn't help the Syrian people now, and help to make the regime fall, Syria will be in great danger. If we get rid of Assad today, not tomorrow, it would help us to build the country normally.
"That is my hope and also my fear, because Assad takes strength from Iran, from Russia and from the non-reaction of Europeans and Americans. There is a complicity with Assad in the west, even if it's not official, or said, or clear. But they are helping him to stay. And that is very dangerous for the Syrian people."......"

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