Read the World: Syria

Freedom Hospital is a mix of fact and fiction, based around an underground Syrian hospital which tends to injured rebels. At the start of the book, it feels like the rebels wanted a peaceful solution to the country’s problems. As time goes on, and the death toll climbs, they are turned to violence too. This leaves a space for extremists to recruit those who feel failed by both sides and we see how Isis tried to take advantage of the situation.

As well as these three factions, of course there are those who just want to get on with their lives (along with their human rights so quashed by Assad). The daily death count printed at the top of the pages is a saddenign reminder of the senseless loss of the conflict.

Assad’s regime is propped up by foreign weapons, and throughout the pages, the tanks, planes and artillery are tagged by who provided what (a lot from Russia, but tother countries aren’t innocent either).

If you’re quite well-informed of the Syria situation, I’m not sure reading this will add much, but it serves as a good introduction. It’s not an intensely personal approach as Hamid has used anecdotes from many of his friends who stayed behind, rather than writing an account of his own experience.

I’m not a huge fan of the artwork but its sparseness does fit with the subject matter here. Originally written in French, this edition has been translated into English by Francesca Barrie.

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Book Source: Purchased