Maha Hassan is a Syrian-Kurdish Writer, based in France. Recently, she published her book Drums of Love, which is considered the first literary work concerned with the ongoing two-year-old Syrian uprising.
As the threats and repression against Kurdish organisations in Syria increased, Maha Hassan went into exile in France in 2004. “I left Syria in August 2004 because of the increasing repression against Kurdish organisations, which began in March 2004, and the increasing threats against me. I have always felt threatened and I have always feared every representative of the state, even the traffic policeman. The police have always meddled with my life – even in my private matters. Two days before the beginning of the war in Iraq [in 2003], while the rest of the world had its eyes on that country, the Syrian authorities brought me in once again for questioning for a reason I still do not know,” She said in an interview with IRIN.
Hassan added to the specialized paper with the humanitarian affairs: “The reasons I was banned from publishing in Syria were, as stated by the Human Rights Watch, because the authorities consider my writing too liberal, too feminist, and ‘morally condemnable’. I was writing on the three taboos – politics, sex and religion. If I do not write on these topics, what’s left to write about?”
Hassan revealed to France Press that her new book basically monitors the Syrian society, especially in both of Damascus and Aleppo, amid the growing crisis in her country.
“The events start in 2010, then Drums of Love depicts the launch of the Syrian pro-democracy revolution in 2011, and the position of the Syrian intellectuals from the revolution and development of the happenings is also described,” Hassan said.
Regarding her intention to write the book, Hassan stated: “there is no direct reason, but the revolutionary environment and atmosphere surrounding the Syrian scene nowadays. In fact, I felt the cries of the Syrians moving me from inside, and I had to convey their voices through my words.”
Maha Hassan doesn’t shed the light on the political developments on the international arena regarding the situation in Syrian, “my novel is rather based on the reality the Syrians live, their suffer and the way how they survive with the daily happenings on the Syrian arena. Communications between activists and the role of the social media in also included.”
Hassan considers her novel as a pros fiction genre, despite the fact that it is based on real happenings; “names of real activists, prisoners, and massacres are used in the novel.”
“I believe that there are some people who have indirectly participated in the writing of the book; some friends with whom I agree and disagree on many issues concerning the Syrian rebellion, and our discussions and obsessions are described in the course of this novel,” she said. “There is more concentration on the peaceful method with which this revolution began, before turning into an armed conflict, and I tried to keep it as objective as possible, regardless of my sympathy with the victims of the brutality practiced on civilians and people I personally know.”
Regarding the presence of the Kurds in her book, Hassan said: “Is is impossible to talk about the Syrian society without including the Kurds as a genuine component of this society. Of course the Kurds are present in my novel, along with the other components that are combined together in a collective picture to constitute the Syrian society.”
Hassan considers herself as having a dual-identity. “For me, the Kurdish identity constitutes my personality psychologically and spiritually, and it nourishes my imagination. However, I think and write in Arabic, but still the Kurdish language is the source of my inspiration.”
“My political position in respect with the situation in Syria is the same as that of most of the Syrians; the establishment of a democratic, pluralistic state, under the name of ‘Syrian Republic’ as it was before the rule of the Baath Party. Moreover, I don’t support the demand of separatism, because Syria would be richer with the diversity of its society’s components,” she said.
“The only way to move forward would be changing the current régime through democratic elections and by allowing other parties to lead the country. For the last 40 years, during the presidential elections in Syria there was only one candidate. I ask for the support of all international humanitarian organisations to obtain the release of all political prisoners and prisoners of opinion in Syria,” Hassan concluded.
By: Adib Abdulmajid — ARA News
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