A Disappearance in Damascus: A Story of Friendship and Survival in the Shadow of War by Deborah Campbell

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Read A Disappearance in Damascus: A Story of Friendship and Survival in the Shadow of War Online Free - In the midst of an unfolding international crisis, the renowned journalist Deborah Campbell finds herself swept up in the mysterious disappearance of Ahlam, her guide and friend. Her frank, personal account of a journey through fear, and the triumph of friendship and courage, is as riveting as it is illuminating.

The story begins in 2007 when Deborah Campbell travels undercover to Damascus to report on the exodus of Iraqis into Syria following the overthrow of Saddam Hussein. There she meets and hires Ahlam, a refugee working as a “fixer”—providing Western media with trustworthy information and contacts to help get the news out. Ahlam, who fled her home in Iraq after being kidnapped while running a humanitarian centre, not only supports her husband and two children through her work with foreign journalists but is setting up a makeshift school for displaced girls. She has become a charismatic, unofficial leader of the refugee community in Damascus, and Campbell is inspired by her determination to create something good amid so much suffering. Ahlam soon becomes her friend as well as her guide. But one morning Ahlam is seized from her home in front of Campbell’s eyes. Haunted by the prospect that their work together has led to her friend’s arrest, Campbell spends the months that follow desperately trying to find her—all the while fearing she could be next.

Through its compelling story of two women caught up in the shadowy politics behind today’s conflict, A Disappearance in Damascus reminds us of the courage of those who risk their lives to bring us the world’s news.

Title : A Disappearance in Damascus: A Story of Friendship and Survival in the Shadow of War
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0345809319
Edition Language : English
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 320 pages


Taryn rated it ★★★★☆

October 25, 2017

"Before the war you understood the rules: avoid the government and you will be safe. After the war there were no rules, only chaos." In the years following the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the subsequent civil war, over a million Iraqis poured over the Syrian border to escape the chaotic violence i...

Eliza rated it ★★★★★

April 11, 2017

This book has been sitting on my shelf for a month until I decided to open it after attending a talk on the intentional targeting of hospitals in war zones. I guess I was scared of it at first because there's something so hopeless and depressing about reading real terrible things happening to rea...

Krista rated it ★★★★☆

November 24, 2016

I was no longer afraid. Go ahead. Follow me around. Arrest me. I realized I could accept many things. I could accept not fulfilling whatever ambitions had landed me here in the first place. I could accept the knowledge that nothing I wrote or would ever write would change a thing and that the wo...

Melissa rated it ★★★☆☆

February 27, 2018

"Not only did he surprise me by being a harsh critic of the war, which he saw as a money-making venture for the likes of Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld after a kind of mafia-style falling-out with their old friend Saddam, but he said something else that stayed with me. I said something about the war: '...

Sandy rated it ★★★★☆

December 12, 2017

This book reads like historical fiction, but it's non-fiction. It serves as a review of the events of the Iraq war using Campbell's friends/acquaintances to tell the story. It gives a behind the scenes view of the reporters' lives and the people they used as "fixers" to gain access to the Iraqi/S...

Jenn rated it ★★★★★

December 31, 2016

I picked up this book to better understand what is happening in Syria right now; I didn't realize it would be such an effortless, intriguing, beautiful read. I actually learned much more about Iraq than I did Syria, as the story follows refugees from the 2003 Iraq War who flee the crumbling civic...

Jacquilptelus.net rated it ★★★★★

July 17, 2017

Non-fiction insights and education for me anyway as to what is occurring in Syria today and a peek into the events and history that has triggered this reality today. A labour of love to tell this story - definitely felt through every chapter and word written.

Carol rated it ★★★★★

January 04, 2018

This account of a journalist's stay in Damascus in 2007 and 2oo8 and the disappearance of her fixer, Ahlam, reads like a novel by Graham Greene. Deborah Campbell already was a famous Canadian journalist who had a great deal of experience in the Middle East and had reported for Harpers, The Nation...

Dorothy rated it ★★★★☆

November 24, 2017

This is a must read for anyone interested in the Middle East. Campbell writes a page-turning mystery while explaining the complex and nuanced political situations in Syria, Iraq, and Lebanon with exceptional clarity. The people are real and fully-realized.

Carla rated it ★★★☆☆

October 20, 2017

I think what I appreciated the about the book most was the stories of the Iraqi refugee in Syria. The author, a reporter, was writing an investigative piece "undercover" and met Ahlam , her guide or "fixer". The two became friends. Ahlam then disappears. The book was fluid and moved fairly quickl...

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