Samar Yazbek on how the relationship between her life and writing is now informed by reality, not fiction
"......Earlier this year, I visited the caves in Reef Idlib where Syrian civilians have fled to escape the shelling. There, I came to a muddy hovel and made my way down into a damp, dark cave. My guide was a woman carrying her young baby, with four other children clinging to her side. They were naked and hungry. At the side of another cave nearby was a girl of 16 who had lost a leg in a bomb attack. She was sitting on the dirty ground. The cave was not fit even for animals. The woman who had brought me there told me how her house had been destroyed; that they had moved to the caves to escape the bombardments, but the aircraft had followed and attacked them there. The people were hungry and sick, and the children lost and confused.
Two years after the revolution began I am touring the alleyways of Saraqeb with a group of young men counting their dead. Mig helicopters bombarded the town for two days straight. Yet, despite all of the pain and suffering, I say the same now as before: my heart is broken and I'll never be at peace again, but I will not stop fighting Assad's regime, no matter what the post-Assad future holds. Assad is a tyrant, a murderer and a sadist. Whatever is to come, it cannot be worse."