The Home That Was Our Country: A Memoir of Syria by Alia Malek

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Read The Home That Was Our Country: A Memoir of Syria Online Free - At the Arab Spring's hopeful start, Alia Malek returned to Damascus to reclaim her grandmother's apartment, which had been lost to her family since Hafez al-Assad came to power in 1970. Its loss was central to her parent's decision to make their lives in America. In chronicling the people who lived in the Tahaan building, past and present, Alia portrays the Syrians-the Muslims, Christians, Jews, Armenians, and Kurds-who worked, loved, and suffered in close quarters, mirroring the political shifts in their country. Restoring her family's home as the country comes apart, she learns how to speak the coded language of oppression that exists in a dictatorship, while privately confronting her own fears about Syria's future.

The Home That Was Our Country is a deeply researched, personal journey that shines a delicate but piercing light on Syrian history, society, and politics. Teeming with insights, the narrative weaves acute political analysis with a century of intimate family history, ultimately delivering an unforgettable portrait of the Syria that is being erased.

Title : The Home That Was Our Country: A Memoir of Syria
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 1568585322
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 334 pages


Karyl rated it ★★★★★

March 21, 2017

I heard about this book on NPR and knew immediately that I had to read it. I like to think that I'm a very open-minded person, and I wanted to get a handle on what life was like for Syrians, aside from what we see on the news regarding refugees. After finishing this memoir, my heart hurts even mo...

Bob rated it ★★★☆☆

June 03, 2017

I struggle to rate this book with a simple system of stars. This memoir of an extended Syrian family, and of many peripherally connected lives, weaves a fascinating and tragic tale of a country's descent into chaos. The subject is timely and germane to understanding the greater human condition (n...

Reem Zakaria rated it ★★★★☆

July 25, 2017

Every ounce of this book reminded me of home. I couldn’t help but reminisce about my trips to Palestine. The authors writing made me think about the school my father attended while growing up, the house he was born in, the well he used to drink from; every inch of Palestine held my mind hostage....

Stephanie rated it ★★★★☆

May 27, 2017

Solid read. This book is somewhat of a transformation. Malek starts off by introducing us to her family, starting with her great-grandparents. She takes us on the journey of her grandmother and her mother - she focuses on an apartment that her grandparents owned and intertwines that with history a...

Molly rated it ★★★★★

May 01, 2017

I just finished reading A Hope More Powerful than the Sea by Doaa Al Zamel which is her story of getting out of Syria - heart wrenching. The Home That Was Our Country gives a history of Syria through the lens of one family's history. This is an excellent book to introduce one to the current polit...

Nancy rated it ★★★★★

August 10, 2017

Malek deftly weaves together family lore, political history, and current events in this beautiful, sad, and illuminating memoir of Syria. She also devotes some nuanced and informed attention to the Armenians of Syria, including a chapter set in Yerevan where Armenians from Aleppo have found refug...

Jeff rated it ★★★★★

March 23, 2017

Her name is Hana Abdullah, and at the age of 13 she has lived more than one-quarter of her life in a debilitating state of suspension as a Syrian refugee in Lebanon. I encountered her visage peering from the pages of The New York Times Magazine of 8 November 2015, and I've never been able to forg...

Fadi rated it ★★★★★

December 04, 2017

This is the book you should be reading if you want to know more about Syria. In her eloquent style, the writer tells a humane story of Syria through her family's saga. Syria is rediscovered not as just a country somewhere in the world where a too-complicated war is taking place, but rather as a h...

Sheila rated it ★★★★☆

June 30, 2017

An excellent memoir for anyone who would like to get a better understanding of Syria, the history of Syria, and the current conflict in Syria. This book made Syria "real" for me. The author is a Syrian American who traveled to, and lived in, Syria for years. The memoir is the story of her and her...

Jill rated it ★★★★★

August 09, 2017

Book starts off slow with very detailed, but richly so, account of author's extended family and their lives in Syria up through the 1970s. But, book midway through slowly simmers and boils over as it transitions to contemporary coverage of Arab Spring and onset of Syrian civil war, and it reaches...

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