Scheherazade in a Syrian Cell

The New York Review of Books | 2nd December 2019

Khaled Khalifa. Photo Credit Aiham Dib

Khaled Khalifa is Syria’s biographer, much as Gore Vidal declared himself America’s. While Vidal gave fictional life to Aaron Burr, Abraham Lincoln, William Randolph Hearst, and other American deities, Khalifa avoids real names: no Assad, father or son, only “the President”; no Baath, only “the Party”; Alawis are “the other sect,” Sunnis “our sect.” Yet their presence dominates the lives of his imagined characters, as in the real Syria. Known in the Arab world primarily as the author of scripts for television and film, the fifty-five-year-old Khalifa has published five novels in Arabic, three of which have been sensitively translated by Leri Price. The first to appear in English was In Praise of Hatred, a complicated García Márquez–like chronicle of an unnamed, decaying family with aristocratic pretensions enduring the clandestine war between security forces and Islamist militants that erupted in Aleppo in the late 1970s. With its labyrinthine souks, decrepit…

Read more →
Protestors Plaza Baquedano, Santiago, Chile, 22 October 2019. Photograph by Carlos Figueroa.

A Rebellious World Is Taking It to the Streets

Stratfor


Demonstrators were out on the streets when I returned to France last week, most of them peacefully protesting but enough burning cars and smashing windows in central Paris for the police to deploy water cannons and tear gas. The latest…

With American Help, Lebanon Once Again Nears the Abyss

The Nation


Lebanon needs change. The people demand it and even some of the leaders know it. But US involvement threatens that possibility. “The switch from peace to a state of war,” wrote Lebanese novelist Hassan Daoud in 2006 when Israel was…

President Erdogan

Turkey may have stepped into its own ‘endless war’ in Syria

Stratfor


"The Turks have always pursued an unhappy policy in regard to native populations," wrote German Gen. Erich Ludendorff of his World War I Ottoman allies. "They have gone on the principle of taking everything and giving nothing. Now they had…





Join the mailing list to receive details of new articles and upcoming events


About the Author

charles-glassCharles Glass is a broadcaster, journalist and writer, who began his journalistic career in 1973 at the ABC News Beirut bureau with Peter Jennings. He covered the October Arab-Israeli War on the Egyptian and Syrian fronts. He also covered civil war in Lebanon, where artillery fire wounded him in 1976. He was ABC News Chief Middle East correspondent from 1983 to 1993. Since 1993, he has been a freelance writer in Paris, Tuscany, Venice and London, regularly covering the Middle East, the Balkans, southeast Asia and the Mediterranean region. He has also published books, short stories, essays and articles in the United States and Europe.

Contact

Charles Glass at charlesglassbooks@gmail.com

Literary Representation

United Kingdom:
Jonathan Lloyd
Curtis Brown
Haymarket House,
28-29 Haymarket
London SW1Y 4SP, England
+44 (0)20 7393 4418
or +44 (0) 20 7393 4400

emma.lucy@curtisbrown.co.uk

United States:
Michael Carlisle
InkWell Management
521 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2600
New York, NY 10175, U.S.A.
+ 1 212 922 3500
michael@inkwellmanagement.com