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The Shell, by Mustafa Khalifa

September 28, 20177:00 p.m.
Casa Árabe Auditorium (at Calle Alcalá, 62). 7:00 p.m. Free entry until the event’s capacity is reached.
In Arabic, with simultaneous translation.

This Syrian author is presenting The Shell: Memoirs of a hidden observer in Al-Assad’s jails at Casa Árabe, along with its Spanish-language translators, Ignacio Gutiérrez de Terán and Naomí Ramírez Díaz.

Mustafa Khalifa (Jarabulus, Syria, 1948) was arrested for the first time in 1979. After his second arrest in 1982, upon returning to his country after studying film in Paris, he spent thirteen years in Al-Assad’s jails, most at the military prison of Tadmur, in Palmyra. This experience forms the core of the tale that we are presenting: The Shell: Memoirs of a hidden observer in Al-Assad’s jails, translated into major languages, and achieving acknowledgments for the author, such as the Free Press Award, in 2014. In his acceptance speech for this award, the author stated, “Syrian human beings are surrounded on all sides by a wall of death, a wall raised by the fanatical forces represented by Al-Assad and Hezbollah’s militias, and the different factions of Al-Qaeda whose entry into Syria was facilitated by Al-Assad himself. Syrian human beings are beginning to lose faith in the values of freedom, justice and brotherhood which mankind has expressed throughout history... the silence over the crimes committed against Syrians are incomprehensible to them. And what is even more incomprehensible and unjustifiable is the fact that this endures without the slightest attempt to take action to put a stop to the crimes against civilians.”

Presentation information sheet
Tadmur Prison, built by the French government in the 1930’s, was blown up by the Islamic Army after taking over Palmyra in 2015, an action criticized by many of those who suffered in jail there. They considered it to be a symbol of oppression and slavery under the regime of the Assad dynasty. Inside its walls, the indiscriminate killing of 500 to 1,000 prisoners took place, as they were mowed down with machines guns inside their jail cells by forces under the command of Rifaat Al-Assad, Hafez Al-Assad’s brother, in response to an attack against him.

Translation from the Arabic and prologue: Ignacio Gutiérrez de Terán and Naomí Ramírez Díaz
Publisher: Ediciones del Oriente y del Mediterráneo
Collection: Sociedades del Oriente y del Mediterráneo, 10
Number of pages: 344
ISBN: 978-84-946564-2-2
The Shell, by Mustafa Khalifa

Casa Árabe and Ediciones del Oriente y el Mediterráneo

This activity is subsidized by the Department of the Presidency and Local Administration of the Autonomous Regional Government of Andalusia