By Christian Sahner
As a civil conflict shatters a rustic and consumes its humans, historian Christian C. Sahner bargains a poignant account of Syria, the place the earlier profoundly shapes its dreadful current. one of the Ruins blends historical past, memoir and reportage, drawing at the author's huge wisdom of Syria in historical, medieval, and glossy instances, in addition to his reviews dwelling within the Levant at the eve of the conflict and in the middle of the "Arab Spring". those plotlines converge in a wealthy narrative of a rustic in consistent flux - a spot renewed through the very shifts that, within the close to time period, are proving so harmful.
Sahner specializes in 5 topics of curiosity to an individual intrigued and dismayed by means of Syria's fragmentation on the grounds that 2011: the function of Christianity in society; the coming of Islam; the increase of sectarianism and competing minorities; the emergence of the Ba'ath celebration; and the present pitiless civil conflict.
Among the Ruins is a brisk and illuminating learn, an obtainable creation to a rustic with an tremendously wealthy previous and a sad current. For someone trying to comprehend Syria, this ebook could be their start line.
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Additional info for Among the Ruins: Syria Past and Present
In this book, I return often to ancient and medieval history in the interest of understanding how certain themes resurface and change over time. If we are to be sensitive to sectarianism in the present, we must be sensitive also to how sectarianism was manifested in the past. â•… I am a historian, and much of this work is concerned with the analysis of events that happened long ago. I weave these passages together with anecdotes from my life in the Middle East. The result is a hybrid style that I hope is both enriching and entertaining for the reader.
Let’s do this again,” he seemed to say. So as his companion held up his cell phone for a second time, the young man stepped back to the tomb and erupted in a show of grief more intense than the first. On this occasion, he practically mounted the tomb (the Syrian caretaker by the door looked on with a mix of suspicion and indifference—one suspects he’d seen this before). Once this finished, the cameraman showed his friend the photos, and this time, smiles abounded. Real grief! I could only imagine the conversations that would ensue back in Iran among these pilgrims and their friends: “Successful pilgrimage!
Finally, as I trust will become clear in pages that follow, I write this book out of a deep affection and respect for Syria and the Syrian people. What criticism I offer comes from a sense of concern and admiration for the country and its inhabitants, from a desire to understand Syria in her many facets: the good and the bad. I only wish I had more time to share in these pages those aspects of Syria which I treasured, especially the friendships, quotidian pleasures, and landscapes that made me feel so welcome in a foreign land.
Among the Ruins: Syria Past and Present by Christian Sahner