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Syria: The impossible revolution

April 17, 20187:00 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 translation into Spanish.

Syrian political opposition leader Yassin Al-Haj Saleh is presenting his work at the Casa Árabe headquarters in Madrid. This is a compilation of texts which the author has been publishing since the beginning of the insurrection in his country.

Along with the author, the event will include speeches by Santiago Alba Rico, a Spanish writer, essayist and philosopher, and Naomí Ramírez Díaz, the book’s translator and publisher. The event will be presented by Karim Hauser, Casa Árabe’s International Politics Coordinator.

The work which we are presenting, published by Ediciones del Oriente y del Mediterráneo, is a compilation of texts which Yassin Al-Haj has written since the insurrection in Syria, when that process began on March 15, 2011. Though not well-known in Spain, Yassin Al-Haj is one of the most important intellectuals among Syrian dissidents.

“Someone might think that this book talks about Syria and its defeated revolution, about the Assad dictatorship and the Near East, about imperialism and the Kurdish question (Chapters 10, 11 and 13 are quite interesting and controversial), on Jihadism and violence. But it is more than that. This book speaks about us all. One of the theories that Al-Haj Saleh has upheld in recent years is that Syria reveals and represents a universal destiny, and therefore it is impossible to think about Syria, and even less so about the globalized world, without thinking about our common fate. This is why every time we produce a discourse to forget, negate or avoid Syria, we are really just doing damage to ourselves.”
Santiago Alba Rico

Yassin Al-Haj Saleh spent sixteen years in jail for his Communist militancy. Since the year 2000, after finishing his studies in Medicine, which he was forced to give up because he was imprisoned, he has been writing a book of stories about his experience in jail, as well as The Syrian Question, published in France by Sindbad-Actes Sud. He regularly contributes articles to the newspapers Al-Hayat, Al-Quds al-Arabi and Al-Jumhuriya. In 2012, he was granted the Prince Claus Award of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the social impact of his writings, though he was unable to collect the award since he was living underground in Damascus. He is currently an associate researcher at the Wissenschaftskolleg in Berlin. His wife, Samira Khalil, the author of Diary of the Siege on Douma in 2013, has been missing since she was kidnapped in December of 2013, along with Razan Zaituneh, Wael Hammada and Nazem Hamadi.
Syria: The impossible revolution