Arabic · non-fiction · Translation

Samar Yazbek in The Washington Post

I am two women. They stand head to head, at loggerheads. 

The revolutionary in me joined what started as peaceful demonstrations against the Syrian government in March 2011.  The novelist in me fled to France that July. 

The revolutionary, who has several times since then furtively crossed the border back into her country, is steeped in the smell of blood. She wipes the dust off the corpses of children disfigured by violence, stops to wring out her heart, then carries on.

It was an honour to translate this powerful piece on Syria by Samar Yazbek, a Syrian author in exile and winner of the 2012 PEN/Pinter Prize for international writer of courage. The piece appeared in the Washington Post on Friday.

Title: The novelist vs. the revolutionary: my own Syrian debate

Author: Samar Yazbek

Translator: Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp

First published: The Washington Post, Sept 2013

This article is available to read online.