Syria’s Secret Library (PDF)
T is an incredible read a portrait of a part of the world where the suffering and struggle are tremendous I devoured of a part of the world where the suffering and struggle are tremendous I devoured in a single sitting Yet part of the story seems to be hidden under the cracks The author mphasizes the difference between nonviolent and violent resistance offering many nonviolent protesters who became victims of Assad s army and the opinions of his interviewees about the meaning of resistance some of them take an objectively heroic line about the need to preserve nonviolence in the face of brutality One gets the impression at the outset that the author is concerned with the choices people in the city make and why the city survives "resists and builds its secret libraryBut later the author becomes insistent on the presence of "and builds its secret libraryBut later the author becomes insistent on the presence of rebels in Syria who fight and kill Russians and Alawites in the presence of moderate rebels in Syria who fight and kill Russians and Alawites in name of moderateness And here is the perplexing thing We hear fascinating stories from the people of Daraya about why they value books history knowledge and domestic and foreign literature They name authors as diverse as Shaw Mill Shakespeare Coehlo and Agatha Christie But what about the ideology and faith of the citizens The author remarks that the people seem very religious to him What about the passion that made their town one of the toughest and longest holdouts against Assad M Moires De S Bastien Joseph De Carvalho Et M Lo Comte D Oeyras Marqui eliciting awe from the toughest al Nusra fightersWhen it comes to their favorite authors the first mentioned by the library s patrons are the liberal Muslim mystic Mohammad Abdallah Draz and the pan Islamist Nadim al Jisr as well as the cleric Ali al Tantawi and the journalist Ahmed Mansour author of Jewish influence in the United States government and America s defeat in Ira They told the author they werenjoying the moderate pan Islamists Muhammad Imara and Mustafa al Siba i but at the same time praised the poet Adonis who is resolutely anti Islamist as well as the blasphemous secular novelist Aziz Nesin translator of The Satanic Verses into Turkish How did these dissonant voices Terrestrial Magnetism And Atmospheric Electricity Vol 19 echo offach other in the walls of the secret library as bombs fell around it It would seem like a lively ideological world for the author to Le Tour Du Monde En Quatre Vingts Recettes explore full of passionate discussions One of the librarians describes crying and hugging the books when it is finally abandoned during the fall of Daraya Among the few titles he picked to save as he fled was a small book on the meaning of prayer There can be no deception the library is real the deadly struggle to maintain it is real and surely the creation preservation and protection of this lively hall of dissonant voices was something the Muslims of Daraya felt was demanded by their faith Unable to read Arabic the author does his best with what translations are available skimming the surface of fierce debateYet instead of helping him along the people of Daraya plunge their reality into a fog when they speak to the Englishman from the BBC They deny so passionately that there are any jihadists among them that the author feels convinced that they must not have heard of the rise of al Nusraven in 2016 Yet simultaneously Assad s army begins to bomb Daraya asserting that the most vicious breed of al Nusra fighters are living there It seems highly unlikely that anyone who used the library was al Nusra but could the readers really have been unaware Was the ideology behind al Nusra s fierce resistance to be found in their library If it was they did not remark on it Perhaps it was not after all violence does not necessarily need theoretical justification And it is clear that the world the Daravans died to save was their world of their own hometown and their secret library not the world of al Nusra or anyone Revue De Phon Tique Vol 1 else Our secret library was not just a nice place to read books says one of the rebels it was a crucial part of our revolution As in Yemen the people of Syria were treated with ruthless cruelty by a better armed regime that sought to crush their bodies and spriits When you read the tales of starvation and violence in this book in a town where orphans go hungry and feed their rations to their siblings as their friends die around them you understand it is no wonder that people turned to violence to oppose Assad But unlike Yemen Syria became a fractal of ideologies and neighborhood militias Daraya is one tiny part of this fractal with its uniue feeling of intellectual solidarity What were they really fighting for and why were they willing to die It is unlikely that the sectarian jihadist narratives of the future will tell the true story of Daraya Yet this book composed over a severe language barrier from Facebook conversations and Skype interviews cannot tell it perfectlyither There was a painful real bond of blood created within the fractal It perhaps meant different things to Fifth Annual Report Of The Commissioner Of Railroads Of The State Of Mic everyone and perhaps it still does I hope for the sake of the people of Daraya and for all other Syrians that this book is translated into Arabic and continues to build the unfinished conversation being carried out in that tongueI received a free copy of this book from NetGalley but the choice to post this review was mine Disclaimer ARC via Netgalley Urs. Now where it isWhile the streets abovecho with rifle fire and thunderous shelling the secret world below is a haven of peace and tranuillity More than 14000 books are stacked neatly on home made shelves according to author and subject and are checked in and out meticulously Those within read uietly drinking tea on comfortable sofas and chairs A small oasis of normality in a country at war with itselfThe secret library was the brainchild of a group of former universit. Syria s Secret Library is an amazing story Think about it Being under siege for years would you need only food and water to survive This story is about food for the soul The mental aspect of survival is often overlooked I found the story Serie Chronologica Dos Vice Reis E Governadores Geraes Do Estado Da Indi engrossing and thought provoking as a different perspective about those caught in a terrible situation with noscape The hope found here is inspiring yet tragic Thanks to NetGalley for an arc in Flora Oder Allgemeine Botanische Zeitung 1887 Vol 70 exchange for an honest review A story of incredible resilience in the face of wartime suffering told in the most boring way possible The chief problem with the author s storytelling is that he constantly inserts himself into it how he got the interview how worried he was how guilty he felt Theffect is to distance the reader from the individuals who are actually Die Deutsche Reichspost Im Dienste Der Arbeiterversicherung enduring the hardships It s the difference between people struggling to maintain civilization while under a brutal siege and here are some things I learned through my diligentfforts about people living under siege For anyone who has ver thought that libraries were unnecessary places Please read this For anyone who has always found friendship and solace in the pages of books Please read this This is such an important book these people s stories were beautifully written and need to be heard I implore veryone who has Evening Post Annual 1882 ever had a love of books to read this It gave us precious space where we could breathe hope instead of despair It liberated us from suffering and savagery Inside its walls the love of science literature and ideas filled the air This symphony of books soothed our hearts As wentered its aura revived us like fresh air to a suffocating man It was the oxygen for our souls It was a place where angels met Each time I stepped inside I flew with them What should have been a very interesting and inspiring story turned out to be just OK By the nd of the Introduction I knew the basic facts In war torn Daraya Syria a group of young people had gathered books from abandoned and virtually destroyed homes as well as from people still living in the city and created a secret library in the basement of a bombed out building The library served as a center of learning and a refuge from the horrors of warThe author introduced many characters whom he claimed he had gotten to know well although all of his communication with them had been via text mail phone Skype Th Orie Des Int R Ts Compos S Et Des Annuit S etc He never met any of them in person and perhaps that why he was unable to bring his characters to life in his book His narrative was poorly organized and added very little to the basic facts stated in his introduction This is such a harrowing read it shows the worst and best of humanity The worst being Bashar al Assad the psychopath in charge of Syria as he rampages across a country full of culture and history torturing and murdering those who disagree with him and his beliefs The worst is also the rest of the world sat idly by saying things along the lines of don t you cross that red line so Assad does and there is zero response It is also the media not keeping focus on anvent "like this keeping it in the public ye is the one way to guilt a response from world leadersThe "this keeping it in the public ye is the one way to guilt a response from world leadersThe of humanity is those who stayed behind to rebel against Assad s rule to fight who stayed behind to rebel against Assad s rule to fight freedom of speech without the threat of prison for the right to live their lives and get an Das Gebiss Des Menschen Und Der Anthropomorphen education You have some who aren t there to fight but are there to offer medical aid some stay to protect their home and oneven stays because he was training in dentistry and he saw all the dentists leaving for safety Mike Thomson starts off this book well a little story about the uniue grapes that grow only in Darayya a beautiful place and then that all gets torn down by what has been happening there in recent years Mike tries to get there to report but it is deemed too dangerous for him instead not giving up he manages to contact people still in the town so that he can tell their stories and let the world know what is happening What he wasn t planning on was uncovering one of the most Catalogues De Tableaux Modernes extraordinary stories to come out of a conflict zone A group of people risking all to save books and create a secret library so that the people can stillducate themselves It becomes a sanctuary for many from the almost continuous bombardment from pro Assad forcesTheir ability to survive on such a small amount of food to live under such immense stress and yet still hold out hope for a such a small amount of food to live under such immense stress and yet still hold out hope for a future blows my mindincredible people As soon as I finished this book I went online to see a headline that Assad is still getting warnings from other countries this time Turkey and yet still nothing happening Everybody should read this book showing just how strong the Human spirit is and once they ve read it share itBlog review is here A fascinating and frustrating book telling the story of a Syrian town of books and resistance which ntered the civil war by creating their own library It would seem like the perfect story for a BBC journalist to tell and the journalist has done his best maintaining genuine friendships with the people of Daraya that he never betrayed The secret library is in the basement of a bombed building in a heavily shelled area of Darayya a suburb of Damascus in Syria Around it shattered buildings that were once homes and offices lie in crumbling treacherous piles A desert of shattered grey concrete festooned with twisted metal and charred wires Deep beneath this scene of frightening devastation lies the secret library No signs mark its presence Locals fear that Syrian government planes will bomb it if they .
review Syria’s Secret Library.
Ula K Le Guin tells the story of a place whose happiness depends on one child being miserable in The One Who Walks Away from Omelas and the reactions to those when they discover it In part our ability to xist in the world is on our ability to disregard or ignore horrors but sometimes we refuse that happiness refuse to bow to the horrors In many ways Thomson s book makes me think of that story as well as how much we take for granted If you teach then you know that tare a great many students who do not read for pleasure shot just ask how many people have read LOTR or GoT instead of just watching yet this book is partly about the human spirit and partly about why books are important Thomson chronicles the story of a group of people who start a library in Daraya a town close to Damascus According to Thomson the town has always had a proud history of peaceful protest and therefore caught up in the Civil War Some of the town s population flees others stay Some of those who stay realize the fighting is simply than picking up a gun but also the transmission of knowledge their fight style includes the founding of schools and a library In part the library comes from a desire to save books that were bombed out homes The lengths that the men it seems it was largely men who gathered the books went to collect items books furniture and the sheer fairness in which they kept records about where the items came from In part Thomson also chronicle show these men and later women not only use the library but also try to continue as much as a normal life as they possibly can The library it seems becomes both a cause and a symbol not only of what was of what we should be of how we learn but also of what the revolution is fighting for as well as the difference in sides We know from history that the uickest way to destroy a people is to destroy a culture Destroy the books the art and so on Culture can mean a people but it also can be a city The library in Daraya was part of this a desire to preserve the need for knowledge the thirst for reading that many people never develop at least where access to a library is An United States Custom House easy While I would have loved a bit description of what books made up the library Thomson does mention uite a few works in particular the favorite works of the people who freuented the library The list includes some that are unfamiliar to Western readers In many ways this insures that Thomson s reporting serves another important function of a library as a bridge between peoples Daraya is one of the many communities devastated by Syria s long civil war Considered a rebel stronghold it was put under siege by government forces and relentlessly bombed With no food no medicines no safe shelter no reliablelectricity Notice Sur Les Travaux Scientifiques every day was a struggle for survival as civilians dodged sniper bullets scavenged for the next meal and hid from falling bombs It was in thisnvironment that several young people convinced of the power of ideas to sustain and rebuild a nation began to collect books from bombed out and abandoned buildings At great risk they ferried these books to an underground room to create a hidden library Soon this became a cultural center But this is not only about a library but about many acts of hope a hope which became the people s greatest act of resistance We meet a young teacher who gathers children in unlit basements without books to give them a basic ducation a dental student who scavenges tools of the trade to offer what he can in the way of dental care a graffiti artist who risks his life to paint murals on destroyed buildings that depict hope and many people who read in trenches in their grief and fear to remind themselves that anger and terror and hopelessness can never have the final word Although the writing was far from outstanding this is a story that should be read by veryone I would have told them that "The Soul Needs Books "soul needs books like the body needs foodThis book has one constant message throughout and that ishopeAmongst war hunger loss and pain a brighter future can be salvaged and beauty is always there if you look for itThis book illuminates the struggle in Syria and finds the glimmer of hope and humanity that will not be put out Members of the community in Daraya formed a secret library Where books can set you freeThe books themselves help us forget all the troubles around us When we are reading the author takes us away to a different world That s something we really need it gives us peace of mindNot only do books offer an Apologie Des Christenthums In Briefen F R Gebildete Leser Vol 1 escape but also hope for the future They want the young to be able to think for themselves becomeducated and one day rebuild the country An illuminating novel about the human spiritNetgalley and PublicAffairsBooks gave me an advanced copy of this novel for my honest review 4 For a while sights from Syria terrible sights of ruined towns children huddling in basements were shown on our television nightly Many in the of Daraya left this is the story of some Who Stayed Reporting In A stayed Reporting in a voice tells their story maintaining contact by phone or Internet The way those in this broken town Y students whose De La Famille Des Loganiac Es Et Des Plantes Qu Elle Fournit A La M Dec education was interrupted when war broke out and then wasnded altogether by the siege that followed Teams of young nthusiasts regularly dodge snipers’ bullets and barrel bombs to bring the books to the library Timber for the bookshelves is collected in a similar way Darayya’s secret library is an xtraordinary place but this book is about than that It is also the stories of the many people who treasure it and the central role it has in their liv.