Our Syrian friend, colleague, and alum Khaled KHALIFA (IWP 2007) has a record of writing eloquently about contemporary Syria’s complex political landscape. While much of his work has been in TV drama, a massive novel about an Aleppo family caught in the Alaouite-Islamist conflict appeared a few years ago; it was next translated in France as Éloge de la haine, and is now about to appear in English under the title In Praise of Hatred.
As the insurgency against the Assad regime has grown in scope and strength, Khaled's voice has been among those heard more and more prominently in international media; in February of this year, with violence reaching new heights, especially in Homs, Khaled circulated first a protest note to writer colleagues worldwide, then a piece highlighting the bloodshed’s historical parallels. Last Friday, in the wake of a funeral of a musician friend found dead under unclear circumstances, Khaled was amongst those beaten by plainclothes militia on a Damascus street. The book he is now working on, a diary-style account of the Syrian revolution, will have to be written with his right, unbroken, hand…..