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Distributed for Haus Publishing

My House in Damascus

An Inside View of the Syrian Revolution

The ongoing conflict in Syria has made clear just how limited the general knowledge of Syrian society and history is in the West. For those watching the headlines and wondering what led the nation to this point, and what might come next, this book is a perfect place to start developing a deeper understanding.

Based on decades of living and working in Syria, My House in Damascus offers an inside view of Syria’s cultural and complex religious and ethnic communities. Diana Darke, a fluent Arabic speaker who moved to Damascus in 2004 after decades of regular visits, details the ways that the Assad regime, and its relationship to the people, differs from the regimes in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya—and why it was thus always less likely to collapse quickly, even in the face of widespread unrest and violence. Through the author’s firsthand experiences of buying and restoring a house in the old city of Damascus, which she later offered as a sanctuary to friends, Darke presents a clear picture of the realities of life on the ground and what hope there is for Syria’s future.

260 pages | 2 maps | 5 1/2 x 8 3/4 | © 2014

Biography and Letters

History: Middle Eastern History


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Reviews

“[W]ritten with the pace of a novel and the colour of the best travel writing. . . . [T]he book offers much more than a personal memoir: it is an eclectic but learned encyclopedia of Syrian history, of the Arabs and their language and traditions, of Islamic art and architecture, and more.”

Times Literary Supplement

“[My House in Damascus] glows with . . . an understanding of and affection for the peoples of Syria.”

Irish Times

“Written with honesty, wit and affection.”

Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly

“Darke’s powerful, moving new book . . . elegantly contrasts a real estate dream with Syria’s ongoing violent reality. . . . Her sensitive, knowing story captures a rare view of Syria and the stakes of the conflict from an up-close observer deeply versed in its culture.”

New Republic

Table of Contents

Preface
 
1. Worlds of Conflict and Harmony
 
2. Unescorted
 
3.  Escorted
 
4. Nobody’s Poodle
 
5. Into the Unknown
 
6. The Dead Auntie
 
7. Insurance Against Fate?
 
8. Revelations
 
9. Friends and Brides
 
10. The Donkey Between Two Carrots
 
11. The Law and Educational Corruption
 
12. Completion and the Caretaker
 
13. No Return
 
14. Monasteries and Desperation
 
15. Thugs and Tamerlane
 
16. The Triumph of Asabiyya
 
17. Future Imperfect and Perfect
 
Acknowledgements
 
Glossary
 
Cast of Characters
 
A Note on the Choice of Charity

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