The Book Collectors: A Band of Syrian Rebels and the Stories That Carried Them Through a War

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The Book Collectors: A Band of Syrian Rebels and the Stories That Carried Them Through a War
Title The Book Collectors: A Band of Syrian Rebels and the Stories That Carried Them Through a War
Author
Publisher Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Release DateNovember 3, 2020
Category New Release
Total Pages 208 pages
ISBN 0374115168
Book Rating 4.8 out of 5 from 7 reviews
Language EN, ES, BE, DA ,DE , NL and FR
Book Review & Summary:

"An urgent and compelling account of great bravery and passion." ―Susan Orlean Award-winning journalist Delphine Minoui recounts the true story of a band of young rebels, a besieged Syrian town, and an underground library built from the rubble of war Reading is an act of resistance. Daraya is a town outside Damascus, the very spot where the Syrian Civil War began. Long a site of peaceful resistance to the Assad regimes, Daraya fell under siege in 2012. For four years, no one entered or left, and aid was blocked. Every single day, bombs fell on this place―a place of homes and families, schools and children, now emptied and broken into bits. And then a group searching for survivors stumbled upon a cache of books in the rubble. In a week, they had six thousand volumes; in a month, fifteen thousand. A sanctuary was born: a library where people could escape the blockade, a paper fortress to protect their humanity. The library offered a marvelous range of books―from Arabic poetry to American self-help, Shakespearean plays to stories of war in other times and places. The visitors shared photos and tales of their lives before the war, planned how to build a democracy, and tended the roots of their community despite shell-shocked soil. In the midst of the siege, the journalist Delphine Minoui tracked down one of the library’s founders, twenty-three-year-old Ahmad. Over text messages, WhatsApp, and Facebook, Minoui came to know the young men who gathered in the library, exchanged ideas, learned English, and imagined how to shape the future, even as bombs kept falling from above. By telling their stories, Minoui makes a far-off, complicated war immediate and reveals these young men to be everyday heroes as inspiring as the books they read. The Book Collectors is a testament to their bravery and a celebration of the power of words.

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A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: NPR "An urgent and compelling account of great bravery and passion." —Susan Orlean Award-winning journalist Delphine Minoui recounts the true story of a band of young rebels, a besieged Syrian town, and an underground library built from the rubble of war Reading is an act of resistance. Daraya is a town outside Damascus, the very spot where the Syrian Civil War began. Long a site of peaceful resistance to the Assad regimes, Daraya fell under siege in 2012. For four years, no one entered or left, and aid was blocked. Every single day, bombs fell on this place—a place of homes and families, schools and children, now emptied and broken into bits. And then a group searching for survivors stumbled upon a cache of books in the rubble. In a week, they had six thousand volumes; in a month, fifteen thousand. A sanctuary was born: a library where people could escape the blockade, a paper fortress to protect their humanity. The library offered a marvelous range of books—from Arabic poetry to American self-help, Shakespearean plays to stories of war in other times and places. The visitors shared photos and tales of their lives before the war, planned how to build a democracy, and tended the roots of their community despite shell-shocked soil. In the midst of the siege, the journalist Delphine Minoui tracked down one of the library’s founders, twenty-three-year-old Ahmad. Over text messages, WhatsApp, and Facebook, Minoui came to know the young men who gathered in the library, exchanged ideas, learned English, and imagined how to shape the future, even as bombs kept falling from above. By telling their stories, Minoui makes a far-off, complicated war immediate and reveals these young men to be everyday heroes as inspiring as the books they read. The Book Collectors is a testament to their bravery and a celebration of the power of words.

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The compelling story of how a group of young Syrian rebels found hope in the midst of war - hope that came from books.

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The remarkable story of a small, makeshift library in the town of Daraya, and the people who found hope and humanity in its books during a four-year siege. Daraya lies on the fringe of Damascus, just southwest of the Syrian capital. Yet for four years it lived in another world. Besieged by government forces early in the Syrian Civil War, its people were deprived of food, bombarded by heavy artillery, and under the constant fire of snipers. But deep beneath this scene of frightening devastation lay a hidden library. While the streets above echoed with shelling and rifle fire, the secret world below was a haven of books. Long rows of well-thumbed volumes lined almost every wall: bloated editions with grand leather covers, pocket-sized guides to Syrian poetry, and no-nonsense reference books, all arranged in well-ordered lines. But this precious horde was not bought from publishers or loaned by other libraries--they were the books salvaged and scavenged at great personal risk from the doomed city above. The story of this extraordinary place and the people who found purpose and refuge in it is one of hope, human resilience, and above all, the timeless, universal love of literature and the compassion and wisdom it fosters.

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This is a lecture delivered by Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad(ra), second Successor of the Promised Messiah(as). The primary purpose of this lecture was to provide a correct and accurate historical account of the conflicts which arose most prominently during the Khilafat of Hazrat Uthman(ra). In this lecture, Hazrat Mirza Bashir-ud-Din Mahmud Ahmad(ra)has shed light on the life of Hazrat Uthman(ra), his piety and righteousness, and his status in the eyes of the Holy Prophet(sa). Moreover, he has expounded upon the virtues of the companions of the Holy Prophet(sa) and has explained how conflicts actually arose in the early period of Islam. Moreover, he has refuted various allegations levelled against the person of Hazrat Uthman(ra) and his companions. The lecture is an academic masterpiece of scholarship and explains the events of the era of the third Khilafat in a manner that no other historian has been able to match, be it Muslim or non-Muslim; all this is done in an an eloquent, academic, yet simple manner, in the form of an interesting narrative.

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Reading Dostoevsky in Afghanistan becomes “crime without punishment” Rassoul remembers reading Crime and Punishment as a student of Russian literature in Leningrad, so when, with axe in hand, he kills the wealthy old lady who prostitutes his beloved Sophia, he thinks twice before taking her money or killing the woman whose voice he hears from another room. He wishes only to expiate his crime and be rightfully punished. Out of principle, he gives himself up to the police. But his country, after years of civil war, has fallen into chaos. In Kabul there is only violence, absurdity, and deafness, and Rassoul’s desperate attempt to be heard turns into a farce. This is a novel that not only flirts with literature but also ponders the roles of sin, guilt, and redemption in the Muslim world. At once a nostalgic ode to the magic of Persian tales and a satire on the dire reality of now, A Curse on Dostoevsky also portrays the resilience and wit of Afghani women, an aspect of his culture that Rahimi never forgets.

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Publisher ABC-CLIO
Release Date 2009-09-23
Category History
Total Pages 379
ISBN 9780313056031
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The Ottoman Army had a significant effect on the history of the modern world and particularly on that of the Middle East and Europe. This study, written by a Turkish and an American scholar, is a revision and corrective to western accounts because it is based on Turkish interpretations, rather than European interpretations, of events. As the world's dominant military machine from 1300 to the mid-1700's, the Ottoman Army led the way in military institutions, organizational structures, technology, and tactics. In decline thereafter, it nevertheless remained a considerable force to be counted in the balance of power through 1918. From its nomadic origins, it underwent revolutions in military affairs as well as several transformations which enabled it to compete on favorable terms with the best of armies of the day. This study tracks the growth of the Ottoman Army as a professional institution from the perspective of the Ottomans themselves, by using previously untapped Ottoman source materials. Additionally, the impact of important commanders and the role of politics, as these affected the army, are examined. The study concludes with the Ottoman legacy and its effect on the Republic and modern Turkish Army. This is a study survey that combines an introductory view of this subject with fresh and original reference-level information. Divided into distinct periods, Uyar and Erickson open with a brief overview of the establishment of the Ottoman Empire and the military systems that shaped the early military patterns. The Ottoman army emerged forcefully in 1453 during the siege of Constantinople and became a dominant social and political force for nearly two hundred years following Mehmed's capture of the city. When the army began to show signs of decay during the mid-seventeenth century, successive Sultans actively sought to transform the institution that protected their power. The reforms and transformations that began frist in 1606successfully preserved the army until the outbreak of the Ottoman-Russian War in 1876. Though the war was brief, its impact was enormous as nationalistic and republican strains placed increasing pressure on the Sultan and his army until, finally, in 1918, those strains proved too great to overcome. By 1923, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk emerged as the leader of a unified national state ruled by a new National Parliament. As Uyar and Erickson demonstrate, the old army of the Sultan had become the army of the Republic, symbolizing the transformation of a dying empire to the new Turkish state make clear that throughout much of its existence, the Ottoman Army was an effective fighting force with professional military institutions and organizational structures.

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