By Christian Sahner
As a civil conflict shatters a rustic and consumes its humans, historian Christian C. Sahner deals a poignant account of Syria, the place the prior profoundly shapes its dreadful current. one of the Ruins blends historical past, memoir and reportage, drawing at the author's wide wisdom of Syria in historical, medieval, and sleek occasions, in addition to his reports dwelling within the Levant at the eve of the conflict and in the course of the "Arab Spring". those plotlines converge in a wealthy narrative of a rustic in consistent flux - a spot renewed by way of the very shifts that, within the close to time period, are proving so harmful.
Sahner specializes in 5 topics of curiosity to someone intrigued and dismayed through Syria's fragmentation considering 2011: the position of Christianity in society; the arriving of Islam; the increase of sectarianism and competing minorities; the emergence of the Ba'ath social gathering; and the present pitiless civil warfare.
Among the Ruins is a brisk and illuminating learn, an obtainable creation to a rustic with an greatly wealthy earlier and a sad current. For somebody trying to comprehend Syria, this e-book may be their place to begin.
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Extra info for Among the Ruins: Syria Past and Present
Others could be dead. I write this book to honor them and their country, to capture a sense of what Syria was and still could be: a land of diversity, elegance, beauty, and tradition. â•… This is not a happy book. Had I written it against the backdrop of different events, I would have focused on less melancholy themes. The times seemed to call for reflection on the long-term challenges facing Syria—the very challenges that have reared their heads in the context of war, complicating and prolonging the conflict.
After a minute, the flash went dark and the first one returned to the confined sidelines to inspect the photos taken by his friend. I couldn’t understand their exchange in Farsi, but the disappointment in the eyes of the first spoke for itself. “Let’s do this again,” he seemed to say. So as his companion held up his cell phone for a second time, the young man stepped back to the tomb and erupted in a show of grief more intense than the first. On this occasion, he practically mounted the tomb (the Syrian caretaker by the door looked on with a mix of suspicion and indifference—one suspects he’d seen this before).
Lying astride the land bridge between the Mediterranean Sea and the Iranian plateau, Syria was where the empires of antiquity traditionally met for battle. While other powers—Hellenistic, Roman, Persian—may have schemed to conquer Syria for themselves (indeed, through most of its history, Syria was ruled from one of three places: Egypt, Persia, and the city of Constantinople-Istanbul) this made it infertile ground for an empire of its own. This is not to say that Syrians did not try. In ancient times, the region saw a steady stream of upstarts and rebels who dared to challenge the great kings from abroad.
Among the Ruins: Syria Past and Present by Christian Sahner