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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The Book Collectors by Delphine Minoui

Title The Book Collectors
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Release Date 2020-11-03
Category Biography & Autobiography
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Book 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.

Title The Book Collectors of Daraya
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Publisher Pan Macmillan
Release Date 2021-03-18
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 208
ISBN 9781529012347
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

‘This is an urgent and compelling account of great bravery and passion. Delphine Minoui has crafted a book that champions books and the individuals who risk everything to preserve them.’ Susan Orlean, author of The Library Book In 2012 the rebel suburb of Daraya in Damascus was brutally besieged by Syrian government forces. Four years of suffering ensued, punctuated by shelling, barrel bombs and chemical gas attacks. People’s homes were destroyed and their food supplies cut off; disease was rife. Yet in this man-made hell, forty young Syrian revolutionaries embarked on an extraordinary project, rescuing all the books they could find in the bombed-out ruins of their home town. They used them to create a secret library, in a safe place, deep underground. It became their school, their university, their refuge. It was a place to learn, to exchange ideas, to dream and to hope. Based on lengthy interviews with these young men, conducted over Skype by the award-winning French journalist Delphine Minoui, The Book Collectors of Daraya is a powerful testament to freedom, tolerance and the power of literature.

Syria S Secret Library by Mike Thomson

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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.

I M Writing You From Tehran by Delphine Minoui

Title I m Writing You from Tehran
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A lucid, moving view into an often obscured part of our world, exploring notions of democracy, identity, and the resilience of the human spirit In the wake of losing her beloved grandfather, Delphine Minoui decided to visit Iran for the first time since the revolution. It was 1998. She was twenty-two and a freshly minted journalist. She would stay for ten years. Quickly absorbed into the everyday life of the city, Minoui attends secret dance parties that are raided by the morality police and dines in the home of a young couple active in the Basij—the fearsome militia. She befriends veteran journalists battling government censorship, imprisoned student poets, and her own grandmother (a woman who is discovering the world of international affairs through her contraband satellite TV). And so it is all the more crushing when the political situation falters. Minoui joins street protests teeming with students hungry for change and is interrogated by the secret police; she sees a mirrored rise in the love of country—the yearning patriotism of the left, the militant nationalism of the right. Friends disappear; others may be tracking her movements. She finds love, loses her press credentials, marries, and is separated from her husband by erupting global conflict. Through it all, her love for Iran and its people deepens. In her family’s past she discovers a mission that will shape her entire future. Framed as a letter to her grandfather and filled with disarming characters in momentous times, I’m Writing You from Tehran is a remarkable blend of global history, family memoir, and the making of a reporter, told by someone both insider and outsider—a child of the diaspora who is a world-class political journalist.

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The New York Times bestseller A Long Walk to Water begins as two stories, told in alternating sections, about two eleven-year-olds in Sudan, a girl in 2008 and a boy in 1985. The girl, Nya, is fetching water from a pond that is two hours’ walk from her home: she makes two trips to the pond every day. The boy, Salva, becomes one of the "lost boys" of Sudan, refugees who cover the African continent on foot as they search for their families and for a safe place to stay. Enduring every hardship from loneliness to attack by armed rebels to contact with killer lions and crocodiles, Salva is a survivor, and his story goes on to intersect with Nya’s in an astonishing and moving way.

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The definitive work of literary journalism on the Arab Spring and its troubled aftermath In 2011, a wave of revolution spread through the Middle East as protesters demanded an end to tyranny, corruption, and economic decay. From Egypt to Yemen, a generation of young Arabs insisted on a new ethos of common citizenship. Five years later, their utopian aspirations have taken on a darker cast as old divides reemerge and deepen. In one country after another, brutal terrorists and dictators have risen to the top. A Rage for Order is the first work of literary journalism to track the tormented legacy of what was once called the Arab Spring. In the style of V. S. Naipaul and Lawrence Wright, the distinguished New York Times correspondent Robert F. Worth brings the history of the present to life through vivid stories and portraits. We meet a Libyan rebel who must decide whether to kill the Qaddafi-regime torturer who murdered his brother; a Yemeni farmer who lives in servitude to a poetry-writing, dungeon-operating chieftain; and an Egyptian doctor who is caught between his loyalty to the Muslim Brotherhood and his hopes for a new, tolerant democracy. Combining dramatic storytelling with an original analysis of the Arab world today, A Rage for Order captures the psychic and actual civil wars raging throughout the Middle East, and explains how the dream of an Arab renaissance gave way to a new age of discord.

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Why do some book covers instantly grab your attention, while others never get a second glance? Fusing word and image, as well as design thinking and literary criticism, this captivating investigation goes behind the scenes of the cover design process to answer this question and more. As the outward face of the text, the book cover makes an all-important first impression. The Look of the Book examines art at the edges of literature through notable covers and the stories behind them, galleries of the many different jackets of bestselling books, an overview of book cover trends throughout history, and insights from dozens of literary and design luminaries. Co-authored by celebrated designer and creative director Peter Mendelsund and scholar David Alworth, this fascinating collaboration, featuring hundreds of covers, challenges our notions of what a book cover can and should be.

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Most observers did not expect the Arab spring to spread to Syria, for a number of seemingly good reasons. Yet, with amazing rapidity, massive and unprecedented anti-regime mobilization took place, which put the regime very much on the defensive; what began as the Syrian Uprising in March 2011 has evolved into one of the world’s most damaging and protracted conflicts. Despite over six years having passed since the inception of the Syrian Uprising, this phenomenon remains difficult to fully grasp, both in terms of underlying forces and long-term implications. This book presents a snapshot of how the Uprising developed in roughly the first two to three years (2011–2013) and addresses key questions regarding the domestic origins of the Uprising and its early trajectory. Firstly, what were the causes of the conflict, both in terms of structure (contradictions and crisis within the pre-Uprising order) and agency (choices of the actors)? Why did the Uprising not lead to democratization and instead descend into violent civil war with a sectarian dimension? With all 19 chapters addressing an aspect of the Uprising, the book focuses on internal dynamics, whilst a subsequent volume will look at the international dimension of the Uprising. Taking an innovative and interdisciplinary approach that seeks to capture the full complexity of the phenomenon, this book contributes significantly to our understanding of the Syrian conflict, and will therefore be a valuable resource for anyone studying Middle Eastern Politics.

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From “America’s librarian” and NPR books commentator Nancy Pearl comes an emotional, “Anne-Tyler-esque” (Library Journal) debut novel about an unlikely marriage at a crossroads. George and Lizzie are a couple, meeting as college students and marrying soon after graduation, but no one would ever describe them of being soulmates. George grew up in a warm and loving family—his father an orthodontist, his mother a stay-at-home mom—while Lizzie was the only child of two famous psychologists, who viewed her more as an in-house experiment than a child to love. After a decade of marriage, nothing has changed—George is happy; Lizzie remains…unfulfilled. But when George discovers that Lizzie has been searching for the whereabouts of an old boyfriend, Lizzie is forced to decide what love means to her, what George means to her, and whether her life with George is the one she wants. With pitch-perfect prose and compassion and humor to spare, George and Lizzie is “a richly absorbing portrait of a perfectly imperfect marriage,” (Amy Poeppel, author of Small Admissions), and “a story of forgiveness, especially for one’s self” (The Washington Post).

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Book Summary:

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.

War Against The Mafia by Don Pendleton

Title War Against the Mafia
Author Don Pendleton
Publisher Open Road Media
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Category Fiction
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ISBN 9781497685543
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The first book in the classic vigilante action series from a “writer who spawned a genre” (The New York Times). Overseas, Mack Bolan was dubbed “Sgt. Mercy” for the compassion he showed the innocent. On the home front, they’re calling him the Executioner for what he’s doing to the guilty. In the jungles of Southeast Asia, American sniper Mack Bolan honed his skills. After twelve years, with ninety-five confirmed hits, he returns home to Massachusetts. But it’s not to reunite with his family, it’s to bury them—victims in a mass murder/suicide. Even though Bolan’s own father pulled the trigger, he knows the old man was no killer. He was driven to madness by Mafia thugs who have turned his idyllic hometown into a new kind of war zone. Duty calls . . . Introducing an action hero “who would make Jack Reacher think twice,” this is the first book in the iconic series of vigilante justice that has become a publishing phenomenon (Empireonline.com). With more than two hundred million Executioner books sold since its debut, the series continues to stimulate. Gerry Conway, cocreator of Marvel Comics’ The Punisher, credits the Executioner as “my inspiration . . . that’s what gave me the idea for the lone, slightly psychotic avenger.” The series is also now in development as a major motion picture. War Against the Mafia is the 1st book in the Executioner series, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.

Title No Turning Back Life Loss and Hope in Wartime Syria
Author Rania Abouzeid
Publisher W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date 2018-03-13
Category History
Total Pages 384
ISBN 9780393609509
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

“Rania Abouzeid has produced a work of stunning reportage from the very heart of the conflict, daring to go to the most dangerous places in order to get the story.” —Dexter Filkins, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Forever War Award-winning journalist Rania Abouzeid dissects the tangle of ideologies and allegiances that make up the Syrian conflict through the dramatic stories of four young people seeking safety and freedom in a shattered country. Hailed by critics, No Turning Back masterfully “[weaves] together the lives of protestors, victims, and remorseless killers at the center of this century’s most appalling human tragedy” (Robert F. Worth). Based on more than five years of fearless, clandestine reporting, No Turning Back brings readers deep inside Bashar al-Assad’s prisons, to covert meetings where foreign states and organizations manipulated the rebels, and to the highest levels of Islamic militancy and the formation of the Islamic State. An utterly engrossing human drama full of vivid, indelible characters, No Turning Back shows how hope can flourish even amid one of the twenty-first century’s greatest humanitarian disasters. Winner of the Overseas Press Club of America's Cornelius Ryan Award for the best non-fiction book on international affairs and a finalist for the Lionel Gelber Prize.

Title And in the Vienna Woods the Trees Remain
Author Elisabeth Åsbrink
Publisher Other Press, LLC
Release Date 2020-01-21
Category History
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9781590519189
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Winner of the August Prize, the story of the complicated long-distance relationship between a Jewish child and his forlorn Viennese parents after he was sent to Sweden in 1939, and the unexpected friendship the boy developed with the future founder of IKEA, a Nazi activist. Otto Ullmann, a Jewish boy, was sent from Austria to Sweden right before the outbreak of World War II. Despite the huge Swedish resistance to Jewish refugees, thirteen-year-old Otto was granted permission to enter the country—all in accordance with the Swedish archbishop’s secret plan to save Jews on condition that they convert to Christianity. Otto found work at the Kamprad family’s farm in the province of Småland and there became close friends with Ingvar Kamprad, who would grow up to be the founder of IKEA. At the same time, however, Ingvar was actively engaged in Nazi organizations and a great supporter of the fascist Per Engdahl. Meanwhile, Otto’s parents remained trapped in Vienna, and the last letters he received were sent from Theresienstadt. With thorough research, including personal files initiated by the predecessor to today’s Swedish Security Service (SÄPO) and more than 500 letters, Elisabeth Åsbrink illustrates how Swedish society was infused with anti-Semitism, and how families are shattered by war and asylum politics.

The Chapo Guide To Revolution by Chapo Trap House

Title The Chapo Guide to Revolution
Author Chapo Trap House
Publisher Atria Books
Release Date 2019-10-15
Category Humor
Total Pages 320
ISBN 9781501187292
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

Instant New York Times bestseller “Howard Zinn on acid or some bullsh*t like that.” —Tim Heidecker The creators of the cult-hit podcast Chapo Trap House deliver a manifesto for everyone who feels orphaned and alienated—politically, culturally, and economically—by the lanyard-wearing Wall Street centrism of the left and the lizard-brained atavism of the right: there is a better way, the Chapo Way. In a guide that reads like “a weirder, smarter, and deliciously meaner version of The Daily Show’s 2004 America (The Book)” (Paste), Chapo Trap House shows you that you don’t have to side with either sinking ships. These self-described “assholes from the internet” offer a fully ironic ideology for all who feel politically hopeless and prefer broadsides and tirades to reasoned debate. Learn the “secret” history of the world, politics, media, and everything in-between that THEY don’t want you to know and chart a course from our wretched present to a utopian future where one can post in the morning, game in the afternoon, and podcast after dinner without ever becoming a poster, gamer, or podcaster. A book that’s “as intellectually serious and analytically original as it is irreverent and funny” (Glenn Greenwald, New York Times bestselling author of No Place to Hide) The Chapo Guide to Revolution features illustrated taxonomies of contemporary liberal and conservative characters, biographies of important thought leaders, “never before seen” drafts of Aaron Sorkin’s Newsroom manga, and the ten new laws that govern Chapo Year Zero (everyone gets a dog, billionaires are turned into Soylent, and logic is outlawed). If you’re a fan of sacred cows, prisoners being taken, and holds being barred, then this book is NOT for you. However, if you feel disenfranchised from the political and cultural nightmare we’re in, then Chapo, let’s go…

The Pianist From Syria by Aeham Ahmad

Title The Pianist from Syria
Author Aeham Ahmad
Publisher Simon and Schuster
Release Date 2019-02-12
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 288
ISBN 9781501173516
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

An astonishing but true account of a pianist’s escape from war-torn Syria to Germany offers a deeply personal perspective on the most devastating refugee crisis of this century. Aeham Ahmad was born a second-generation refugee—the son of a blind violinist and carpenter who recognized Aeham's talent and taught him how to play piano and love music from an early age. When his grandparents and father were forced to flee Israel and seek refuge from the Israeli–Palestinian conflict ravaging their home, Aeham’s family built a life in Yarmouk, an unofficial camp to more than 160,000 Palestinian refugees in Damascus. They raised a new generation in Syria while waiting for the conflict to be resolved so they could return to their homeland. Instead, another fight overtook their asylum. Their only haven was in music and in each other. Forced to leave his family behind, Aeham sought out a safe place for them to call home and build a better life, taking solace in the indestructible bond between fathers and sons to keep moving forward. Heart-wrenching yet ultimately full of hope, and told in a raw and poignant voice, The Pianist from Syria is a gripping portrait of one man’s search for a peaceful life for his family and of a country being torn apart as the world watches in horror.

Title I Am Nujood Age 10 and Divorced
Author Nujood Ali
Publisher Broadway Books
Release Date 2010
Category Biography & Autobiography
Total Pages 188
ISBN 9780307589675
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The true story of a Yemeni child bride describes her forced marriage to an abusive husband three times her age, her pursuit of the marriage's dissolution, and the cultural factors that place girls at risk in Yemeni society.

The Daughters Of Yalta by Catherine Grace Katz

Title The Daughters of Yalta
Author Catherine Grace Katz
Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Release Date 2020-09-29
Category History
Total Pages 416
ISBN 9780358117827
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

The untold story of the three intelligent and glamorous young women who accompanied their famous fathers to the Yalta Conference with Stalin, and of the fateful reverberations in the waning days of World War II. Tensions during the Yalta Conference in February 1945 threatened to tear apart the wartime alliance among Franklin Roosevelt, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin just as victory was close at hand. Catherine Grace Katz uncovers the dramatic story of the three young women who were chosen by their fathers to travel with them to Yalta, each bound by fierce family loyalty, political savvy, and intertwined romances that powerfully colored these crucial days. Kathleen Harriman was a champion skier, war correspondent, and daughter of US ambassador to the Soviet Union Averell Harriman. Sarah Churchill, an actress-turned-RAF officer, was devoted to her brilliant father, who depended on her astute political mind. Roosevelt’s only daughter, Anna, chosen instead of her mother Eleanor to accompany the president to Yalta, arrived there as keeper of her father’s most damaging secrets. Situated in the political maelstrom that marked the transition to a post- war world, The Daughters of Yalta is a remarkable story of fathers and daughters whose relationships were tested and strengthened by the history they witnessed and the future they crafted together.

Title Assad or We Burn the Country
Author Sam Dagher
Publisher Little, Brown
Release Date 2019-05-28
Category Political Science
Total Pages 592
ISBN 9780316556705
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

From a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist specializing in the Middle East, this groundbreaking account of the Syrian Civil War reveals the never-before-published true story of a 21st-century humanitarian disaster. In spring 2011, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad turned to his friend and army commander, Manaf Tlass, for advice about how to respond to Arab Spring-inspired protests. Tlass pushed for conciliation but Assad decided to crush the uprising -- an act which would catapult the country into an eight-year long war, killing almost half a million and fueling terrorism and a global refugee crisis. Assad or We Burn the Country examines Syria's tragedy through the generational saga of the Assad and Tlass families, once deeply intertwined and now estranged in Bashar's bloody quest to preserve his father's inheritance. By drawing on his own reporting experience in Damascus and exclusive interviews with Tlass, Dagher takes readers within palace walls to reveal the family behind the destruction of a country and the chaos of an entire region. Dagher shows how one of the world's most vicious police states came to be and explains how a regional conflict extended globally, engulfing the Middle East and pitting the United States and Russia against one another. Timely, propulsive, and expertly reported, Assad or We Burn the Country is the definitive account of this global crisis, going far beyond the news story that has dominated headlines for years.

No Return by Mark Townsend

Title No Return
Author Mark Townsend
Publisher Faber & Faber
Release Date 2020-03-31
Category Political Science
Total Pages 288
ISBN 9781783351831
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

'An incredible story, powerfully and beautifully told.' - James O'Brien Five teenage friends leave Brighton to wage jihad in Syria. All except one are killed. This is their untold story. No Return is a unique insight into a hidden Britain, based on true events that so shocked intelligence experts they are now the Home Office's lead case study into youth radicalisation. Drawing on a cache of leaked classified documents and unprecedented access to all the main players, award-winning investigative journalist Mark Townsend reveals the shocking truth behind what drew these young Britons to martyrdom in a foreign land. The end result is a fast-paced and powerfully gripping true crime account of radicalisation - and how it can be prevented.

The Heart Of Aleppo by Ammar Habib

Title The Heart of Aleppo
Author Ammar Habib
Publisher Createspace Independent Publishing Platform
Release Date 2018-07-23
Category
Total Pages 250
ISBN 1724216384
Language English, Spanish, and French
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Book Summary:

After standing for over 7,000 years, Aleppo's ruin came overnight. Separated from his family during the night the rebels attacked the city, thirteen-year-old Zaid Kadir is lost in the middle of a war zone. Alongside his friends, he is forced to survive the dangers of a civil war he does not even fully understand. Zaid witnesses the destruction of the brutal Syrian Civil War as it grows more deadly by the day and rips his city apart. However, as he braves this destruction, as he desperately tries to survive this catastrophe, he discovers something. Zaid realizes that it is in the darkest hours when humanity's spirit of hope burns brightest.

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