Syrian-​Kurdish Writer Pub­lishes First Book on Syr­ian Upris­ing

ARA News

Maha Has­san is a Syrian-​Kurdish Writer, based in France. Recently, she pub­lished her book Drums of Love, which is con­sid­ered the first lit­er­ary work con­cerned with the ongo­ing two-​year-​old Syr­ian uprising.

As the threats and repres­sion against Kur­dish organ­i­sa­tions in Syria increased, Maha Has­san went into exile in France in 2004. “I left Syria in August 2004 because of the increas­ing repres­sion against Kur­dish organ­i­sa­tions, which began in March 2004, and the increas­ing threats against me. I have always felt threat­ened and I have always feared every rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the state, even the traf­fic police­man. The police have always med­dled with my life – even in my pri­vate mat­ters. Two days before the begin­ning of the war in Iraq [in 2003], while the rest of the world had its eyes on that coun­try, the Syr­ian author­i­ties brought me in once again for ques­tion­ing for a rea­son I still do not know,” She said in an inter­view with IRIN.

Has­san added to the spe­cial­ized paper with the human­i­tar­ian affairs: “The rea­sons I was banned from pub­lish­ing in Syria were, as stated by the Human Rights Watch, because the author­i­ties con­sider my writ­ing too lib­eral, too fem­i­nist, and ‘morally con­demnable’. I was writ­ing on the three taboos – pol­i­tics, sex and reli­gion. If I do not write on these top­ics, what’s left to write about?”

Has­san revealed to France Press that her new book basi­cally mon­i­tors the Syr­ian soci­ety, espe­cially in both of Dam­as­cus and Aleppo, amid the grow­ing cri­sis in her country.

“The events start in 2010, then Drums of Love depicts the launch of the Syr­ian pro-​democracy rev­o­lu­tion in 2011, and the posi­tion of the Syr­ian intel­lec­tu­als from the rev­o­lu­tion and devel­op­ment of the hap­pen­ings is also described,” Has­san said.

Regard­ing her inten­tion to write the book, Has­san stated: “there is no direct rea­son, but the rev­o­lu­tion­ary envi­ron­ment and atmos­phere sur­round­ing the Syr­ian scene nowa­days. In fact, I felt the cries of the Syr­i­ans mov­ing me from inside, and I had to con­vey their voices through my words.” 

Maha Has­san doesn’t shed the light on the polit­i­cal devel­op­ments on the inter­na­tional arena regard­ing the sit­u­a­tion in Syr­ian, “my novel is rather based on the real­ity the Syr­i­ans live, their suf­fer and the way how they sur­vive with the daily hap­pen­ings on the Syr­ian arena. Com­mu­ni­ca­tions between activists and the role of the social media in also included.”

Has­san con­sid­ers her novel as a pros fic­tion genre, despite the fact that it is based on real hap­pen­ings; “names of real activists, pris­on­ers, and mas­sacres are used in the novel.”

“I believe that there are some peo­ple who have indi­rectly par­tic­i­pated in the writ­ing of the book; some friends with whom I agree and dis­agree on many issues con­cern­ing the Syr­ian rebel­lion, and our dis­cus­sions and obses­sions are described in the course of this novel,” she said. “There is more con­cen­tra­tion on the peace­ful method with which this rev­o­lu­tion began, before turn­ing into an armed con­flict, and I tried to keep it as objec­tive as pos­si­ble, regard­less of my sym­pa­thy with the vic­tims of the bru­tal­ity prac­ticed on civil­ians and peo­ple I per­son­ally know.” 

Regard­ing the pres­ence of the Kurds in her book, Has­san said: “Is is impos­si­ble to talk about the Syr­ian soci­ety with­out includ­ing the Kurds as a gen­uine com­po­nent of this soci­ety. Of course the Kurds are present in my novel, along with the other com­po­nents that are com­bined together in a col­lec­tive pic­ture to con­sti­tute the Syr­ian society.”

Has­san con­sid­ers her­self as hav­ing a dual-​identity. “For me, the Kur­dish iden­tity con­sti­tutes my per­son­al­ity psy­cho­log­i­cally and spir­i­tu­ally, and it nour­ishes my imag­i­na­tion. How­ever, I think and write in Ara­bic, but still the Kur­dish lan­guage is the source of my inspiration.”

“My polit­i­cal posi­tion in respect with the sit­u­a­tion in Syria is the same as that of most of the Syr­i­ans; the estab­lish­ment of a demo­c­ra­tic, plu­ral­is­tic state, under the name of ‘Syr­ian Repub­lic’ as it was before the rule of the Baath Party. More­over, I don’t sup­port the demand of sep­a­ratism, because Syria would be richer with the diver­sity of its society’s com­po­nents,” she said.

“The only way to move for­ward would be chang­ing the cur­rent régime through demo­c­ra­tic elec­tions and by allow­ing other par­ties to lead the coun­try. For the last 40 years, dur­ing the pres­i­den­tial elec­tions in Syria there was only one can­di­date. I ask for the sup­port of all inter­na­tional human­i­tar­ian organ­i­sa­tions to obtain the release of all polit­i­cal pris­on­ers and pris­on­ers of opin­ion in Syria,” Has­san concluded.

By: Adib Abdul­ma­jid — ARA News

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