Esquire Theme by Matthew Buchanan
Social icons by Tim van Damme

16

Mar

Art is at the very forefront of this revolution
Robin Yassin-Kassab, on #Syria at #ReelSyria 2012
It’s March 15th; the anniversary of the Syrian Revolution, and the closing night of the “missing” DOX BOX edition. So, here we are, carrying the best of Syrian documentary films to screen parts of the Syrians’ lives back from the seventies, and to tell more about Syria, what it is, who we are, and maybe give a glance of what actually made the country rise up shouting for freedom
DoxBox Global Day organizers, March 15 2012

06

Mar

Also on the Creative Resistance panel: 

Ali Ferzat is a celebrated Syrian cartoonist who was awarded the 2011 Press Freedom Prize by Reporters Without Borders and Le Monde. In 2000, Ferzat launched the satirical newspaper, Al-Domari, which was forced to close three years later by the Ba’ath authorities, and his cartoons have been banned in several Arab countries. Since the popular uprising began in Syria in March 2011, he has made the government’s violent crackdown on protests the central theme of his work. For denouncing the corruption and abuses of Bashar Al-Assad’s rule, he was attacked in August by masked gunmen, who broke his hands as a warning. He has been nominated for Index on Censorship’s 2012 award for artists, filmmakers and writers whose work asserts artistic freedom and battles against repression and injustice.

Also on the Creative Resistance panel: 

Ali Ferzat is a celebrated Syrian cartoonist who was awarded the 2011 Press Freedom Prize by Reporters Without Borders and Le Monde. In 2000, Ferzat launched the satirical newspaper, Al-Domari, which was forced to close three years later by the Ba’ath authorities, and his cartoons have been banned in several Arab countries. Since the popular uprising began in Syria in March 2011, he has made the government’s violent crackdown on protests the central theme of his work. For denouncing the corruption and abuses of Bashar Al-Assad’s rule, he was attacked in August by masked gunmen, who broke his hands as a warning. He has been nominated for Index on Censorship’s 2012 award for artists, filmmakers and writers whose work asserts artistic freedom and battles against repression and injustice.


Manhal Alsarraj is an award winning Syrian author, who will appear at our panel discussion Culture Under Fire: Creative Resistance in Syria”. She has published a number of books including Overcoming The Bridge (1997) and As the River Must (2000), which was banned from publication in Syria  as it dealt with the Hama massacre of 1982, and On My Chest (2007). Her most recent novel was Defiant Blood, released in 2011 by Dar al-Adab.

Culture Under Fire: Creative Resistance in #Syria

From our wonderful hosts the Free Word centre. More to follow on the participants:

Reel Festivals returns for its fifth year with Reel Syria 2012, in association with Mosaic Initiative for Syria, supporting Syrian artists and showcasing Syrian culture to a UK audience. At a time when Syria is engulfed in violent conflict, the festival will present a nuanced portrait of the country and its people. On the anniversary of the uprising, Mosaic Initiative for Syria will also raise funds for Syrians displaced and affected by the current violent crackdown.


On Friday 16th March join some of Syria’s best-known authors and artists for a discussion of cultural repression and resistance. Featuring novelists Manhal Alsarraj and Mamdouh Azzam, musician Steve Chandra Savale, academic Donatella Della Ratta and cartoonist Ali Ferzat. Presented in association with Index on Censorship. Followed by a screening of Syrian film, ‘Zabad’, plus Q&A with the director, Reem Ali.

22

Feb

Letter from Damascus

Letter From Syrian author Khaled Khalifa to his friends around of the world:

My friends, writers and journalists from all over the world, in China and Russia, I would like to inform you that my people is being subjected to a genocide.


A week ago the forces of the Syrian regime stepped up its attacks on the rebellious cities, especially in the cities of Homs, Zabadani, the suburbs of Damascus, Rastan, Madaya, Wadi Barada, Figeh, Idlib and villages of the Zawiya mountain. In the past week, up until the moment in which I am writing these lines, more than a thousand martyrs fell, many of them children, and hundreds of homes were destroyed on top of their inhabitants.


The world’s blindness encouraged the regime’s attempt to eliminate the peaceful revolution in Syria, with an unrivaled repressive force. The support of Russia, China, Iran and the silence of the world in the face of the crimes committed in broad daylight, has allowed the regime’s killing of my people for the past eleven months. But in the last week, since February 2cd, the features of the massacre were made clear. The scene of hundreds of thousands of Syrians who took to the streets of their towns and villages on the night of the massacre of Khalidiya, the night of last Friday to Saturday, raising their hands in prayer and in tears, is heart breaking and puts the humanitarian tragedy of Syria in the center of the world. It is a clear expression of our feeling of orphanhood, resulting from our abandonment by the world, which is content by political and economic sanctions that do not stop murderers or restrain blood bathed tanks.


My people who faced death with bear chests and songs is being, in these very moments, subjected to a cleansing campaign. Our rebellious cities face sieges unprecedented in the history of world revolutions, preventing medical personnel to attend to the wounded, as field hospitals are being bombed in cold blood and destroyed. The entry of relief organizations is also prevented, phone lines are cut, and food and medicine are blocked to the extent that the smuggling of blood bags or Satamol tablets into the affected areas is considered a crime worthy of imprisonment in detention camps, the details of which will shock you one day.


In its modern history, the world has not yet seen valor and courage such as those displayed by the revolutionary Syrians in all our towns and villages, as the world has not yet seen such a silence, that is now considered a complicity in the murder and extermination of my people.


My people is the people of peace, coffee and music, that I wish you will taste one day, roses the fragrances of which I hope you will breathe one day, so that you know that the center of the world is today exposed to a genocide, and that the whole world is an accomplice to the spilling of our blood.


I can not say more in these difficult moments, but I hope you will take action in solidarity with my people, through whatever means you deem appropriate. I know that writing stands helpless and naked in front of the Russian guns, tanks and missiles bombing cities and civilians, but I have no wish for your silence to be an accomplice of the killings as well.