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New publication: “A Green Bus Leaving Aleppo”

Ediciones del Oriente y del Mediterráneo has published this novel by Syrian Kurdish author Jan Dost, depicting the reality experienced by civilians forced to leave Eastern Aleppo in December of 2016, after years of conflict and repression by the Bashar al-Assad regime.

July 01, 2020
The book emphasizes the symbolism of the green buses which departed from the city, filled with civilians and combatants, taking just scarce belongings but countless memories. According to Dost himself, these collective vehicles became the image of defeat and caused immense pain to those who rode them or watched them drive off. Through the story of one family, trapped amid the bombings and siege, the author portrays the Syrian people as being prisoners to the maelstrom of war, which lacks all logic. Moreover, he shows us the complexity and diversity of role-players involved in this tragic standoff.

“What I hoped to achieve with this novel was a depiction of the situation lived by civilians within the context of war: civilians who sought neither war nor conflict. I hoped to show that neutrality does not exist in wars. In wars, one becomes a victim, whether on one side or the other. The fires of war do not distinguish between a dry tree and green one: they burn blindly and light up the entire forest.” Jan Dost

Jan Dost is a Syrian Kurdish poet, writer and translator who was born in the city of Kobani (Aleppo district) in 1965. In the year 2000, he left Syria due to the lack of freedom to write and publish in Kurdish, seeking exile in Germany. He has had ten novels and four poetry books published in Kurdish and Arabic, and he has received several literary awards, including the Award for Best Short Novel in Kurdish in Syria in 1993,; the Award for Poetry in Kurdish, in Germany in 2012; the Creativity Award given by the magazine Damascus in London, in 2013, and the Hussein Arif Novel Award in the region of Kurdistan, in 2014. “A Green Bus Leaving Aleppo” is his first work to be translated into Spanish, as “Un autobús verde sale de Alepo.”

Here you can watch a video of the interview between the author, Jan Dost, and the translator of the Spanish edition, Naomí Ramírez Díaz.

The book is on sale at Casa Árabe’s Balqís bookstore.
New publication: “A Green Bus Leaving Aleppo”