My House in Damascus: An Inside View of the Syrian Crisis by Diana Darke

My House in Damascus: An Inside View of the Syrian Crisis by Diana Darke

13th Aug 2016 10am - 11am

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How did Syria's revolution lose its way? Drawing on the author's first-hand knowledge of the country's complex religious and ethnic communities, this book illuminates the darker recesses of Syria's history, politics, and society.  With the unique perspective of an Arabic-speaking British woman, Diana Darke became deeply embedded in all levels of Syrian society when she bought and restored a house in a mixed Sunni/Shi'a neighbourhood of the walled Old City of Damascus.

As fighting intensified and millions were forced to flee their homes, she offered her house as a sanctuary to friends. By following her experiences and struggles with the realities of life on the ground inside Syria, the reader will arrive at a clearer understanding of why the country remains locked in conflict and why most ordinary Syrians are caught between a repressive government and a splintering opposition, now overshadowed by a monster called ISIS.

'...written with the pace of a novel and the colour of the best travel writing... much more than a personal memoir: it is an eclectic but learned encyclopedia of Syrian history, of the Arabs and their language and traditions, of Islamic art and architecture, and more.' --Times Literary Supplement

'Darke's powerful, moving new book - elegantly contrasts a property dream with Syria's ongoing violent reality - Her sensitive, knowing story captures a rare view of Syria and the stakes of the conflict from an up-close observer deeply versed in its culture.' --New Republic

'An elegy to a lost world. [My House in Damascus] gives the conflict a human face which remains hidden in much media coverage.' --The World Today, Chatham House