No Turning Back: Life, Loss, and Hope in Wartime Syria

Rania Abouzeid. Norton, $26.95 (384) ISBN 978-0-393-60949-3
Foreign correspondent Abouzeid spins finely detailed and informed narratives of how life in Bashar al-Assad’s Syria descended into street protests and the bloody ongoing chaos of the “civilian revolution.” Abouzeid explores the revolt, primarily through the stories of young men who take on the regime, including Suleiman, a wealthy middle manager turned activist; Mohammad, a father imprisoned for suspected Islamist ties and subjected to grisly tortures; and the pseudonymous Abu Azzam, a literature student turned rebel fighter. She also conveys the plight of noncombatants, such as one young girl, Ruha, and her family, who escape to Turkey to become “business-class refugees,” out of immediate danger but enduring the hardships of a foreign country while trying to aid those in their hometown across the border. The author skillfully sets forth the complex political and military rivalries between those supporting and opposing the regime, discussing their backers from Saudi Arabia and Qatar as well as the foreign and homegrown fighters who became ISIS. In notes at the beginning and end, Abouzeid details her intense and perilous reporting process. She was banned from the country, she explains, soon after protests began, but nevertheless spent roughly three weeks a month clandestinely entering Syria for the next several years. Her grueling reportage is a formidable accomplishment. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/05/2018
Release date: 03/01/2018
Genre: Nonfiction
Paperback - 400 pages - 978-0-393-35678-6
Compact Disc - 978-1-6651-9045-9
MP3 CD - 978-1-6651-9044-2
Open Ebook - 384 pages - 978-0-393-60950-9
Compact Disc - 978-1-68441-164-1
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