There is never wrong time to publish a book which will wake up emotions. I believe Asaad Almohammad knew this, when he decided to write about war in Syria and pass on his knowledge. An Ishmael of Syria it’s not the easiest read for those, who like to read mostly stories, but dear readers longing for awarness: You will love it!
This highly informative piece is filled with different points of view on political and social situation of Syria, but not only. It copes with all different uncomfortable conversation topics for many people like racism, bigotry, homophobia, intolerance, ignorance and hypocrisy.
I was trying to put An Ishmael of Syria into some category but honestly, I couldn’t find the right one. I bet once you read it you’ll understand. It’s a semiautobiographical novel, a political dialog, an essay, and who knows what more. Not that categories matter so much, but just to clarify what to expect.
For me it was a very unique experience to read about civil war from the perspective of an exile. I would say all the books I’ve read were about people living in peace, until a conflict arrives. Then book’s story started to develop how much has everything changed. Not saying it’s not interesting/scary enough. But Asaad is highly interested in immigration issues and it is reflected in his work, which differs itself from the mainstream literature about war immigrants. Not only is his main character Adam portrayed as someone very strong and aware, but also insistent because there is no excuse in his eyes.
An Ishmael of Syria is full of personal political debates, new facts about the conflict. Although it contains few very raw stories with sad ending, it’s about people who can’t afford to mourn too much, as they need to take care of themselves and the others in need.
It shows how one’s situation doesn’t end when being far away enough. On the contrary, the main character Adam, while trying to settle in his new homeland Malaysia, gets to know the sad news through the TV screen, the internet or over the phone. There is no way of escaping own memories, feelings of responsibility and terrors of the past and present. But as there are many people around, who have lot of opinions and no information, Adam fights against ignorance with his knowledge and experience.