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How do you write the history of a war ongoing? The subjects of an early chapter might change sides or be killed by the time you finish writing. Upon publication, the latest events in the book will be out of date. In the following months (or years), a faulty prediction of the outcome of the war might weaken your entire argument.

With the conflict in Syria, Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shami have risked these temporal challenges for the sake of two greater needs: to document and to comprehend. Their book, Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War, is both exposition and record of the people behind the Syrian uprising. From their early premise that “it’s most accurate to think of Syria as a collective of 23 million individuals,” Yassin-Kassab and Al-Shami work to undo the narrative traps that define popular perceptions of Syria, giving color to the individuals who have mounted alternatives for the country and whose stories are little known.

full: https://www.guernicamag.com/daily/mirror-from-damascus/
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