Whanganuilibrary.com
Normal view MARC view ISBD view

No turning back : life, loss, and hope in wartime Syria / Rania Abouzeid.

By: Abouzeid, Rania.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: London, England : Oneworld Publications, 2018Copyright date: ©2018Description: xxi, 378 pages : map ; 25 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 1786074176; 9781786074171.Subject(s): Syria -- History -- Civil War, 2011- -- Personal narrativesGenre/Form: Personal narratives.Summary: "This astonishing book by the prize-winning journalist Rania Abouzeid tells the tragedy of the Syrian War throughthe dramatic stories of four young people seeking safety and freedom in a shattered country. Extending back to the first demonstrations of 2011, No Turning Back dissects the tangle of ideologies and allegiances that make up the Syrian conflict. As protests ignited in Daraa, some citizens were brimming with a sense of possibility. A privileged young man named Suleiman posted videos of the protests online, full of hope for justice and democracy. A father of two named Mohammad, secretly radicalized and newly released from prison, saw a darker opportunity in the unrest. When violence broke out in Homs, a poet named Abu Azzam became an unlikely commander in a Free Syrian Army militia. The regime's brutal response disrupted a family in Idlib province, where a nine-year-old girl opened the door to a military raid that caused her father to flee. As the bombings increased and roads grew more dangerous, these people's lives intertwined in unexpected ways. Rania Abouzeid brings readers deep inside 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 ISIS. Based on more than five years of clandestine reporting on the front lines, No Turning Back is an utterly engrossing human drama full of vivid, indelible characters that shows how hope can flourish even amid one of the twenty-first century's greatest humanitarian disasters."-- Jacket.
Tags from this library: No tags from this library for this title. Log in to add tags.
    average rating: 0.0 (0 votes)
Item type Current location Collection Call number Status Date due
Non-Fiction Gonville Library
Non-Fiction
Non-Fiction 956.91 ABO Available

Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

New York Times Notable Books of 2018

Financial Times Book of the Year

Award-winning journalist Rania Abouzeid presents reportage of unprecedented scope in this engaging, character-driven investigation that exposes the secret dealings that armed and betrayed an uprising.

Taking readers deep into Assad's prisons, to clandestine meetings and to the highest levels of Islamic militancy, Abouzeid dissects the tangle of ideologies and allegiances that make up the Syrian conflict, and lays bare the tragedy of the Syrian War through the stories of those seeking safety and freedom in a shattered country.

Based on more than five years of frontline reporting, No Turning Back is an utterly engrossing human drama that shows how hope can flourish even amid one of the twenty-first century's greatest humanitarian disasters.

Includes bibliographical references (pages 355-363) and index.

"This astonishing book by the prize-winning journalist Rania Abouzeid tells the tragedy of the Syrian War throughthe dramatic stories of four young people seeking safety and freedom in a shattered country. Extending back to the first demonstrations of 2011, No Turning Back dissects the tangle of ideologies and allegiances that make up the Syrian conflict. As protests ignited in Daraa, some citizens were brimming with a sense of possibility. A privileged young man named Suleiman posted videos of the protests online, full of hope for justice and democracy. A father of two named Mohammad, secretly radicalized and newly released from prison, saw a darker opportunity in the unrest. When violence broke out in Homs, a poet named Abu Azzam became an unlikely commander in a Free Syrian Army militia. The regime's brutal response disrupted a family in Idlib province, where a nine-year-old girl opened the door to a military raid that caused her father to flee. As the bombings increased and roads grew more dangerous, these people's lives intertwined in unexpected ways. Rania Abouzeid brings readers deep inside 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 ISIS. Based on more than five years of clandestine reporting on the front lines, No Turning Back is an utterly engrossing human drama full of vivid, indelible characters that shows how hope can flourish even amid one of the twenty-first century's greatest humanitarian disasters."-- Jacket.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

In her debut book, Polk Award-winning journalist Abouzeid weaves narratives of very different individuals, along with their families and loved ones, involved in the Syrian civil war. Through the eyes of activists, instigators, victims, helpless bystanders, refugees, and ruthless killers, readers witness as Syria dissolves into a lawless territory with three main factions and their own competing subgroups: the dictatorship, the rebels fighting for democracy, and the Islamic extremists. As the war heated up, death was so commonplace that people became dehumanized, with casualties only known as the day's number. Abouzeid pens personal narratives as great family epics during a period of change, sorrow, and upheaval. Suleiman, a well-off young man, demonstrates the power of social media by posting protests online. Mohammad, a family man, shows how and why he turned to Islamic extremism. Ruah, a young girl, ends up a refugee in Turkey, alive, but still mentally in Syria. Abu Azzam, a poet, emerges as a leader in the Free Syrian Army. VERDICT A brilliant, detailed work on a devastating topic. For readers interested in narrative nonfiction, the Syrian war, the Middle East, and personal accounts. [See Prepub Alert, 9/11/17.]-Heidi Uphoff, Sandia National Laboratories, NM © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

Foreign correspondent Abouzeid spins finely detailed and informed narratives of how life in Bashar al-Assad's Syria descended into street protests and the bloody ongoing chaos of the "civilian revolution." Abouzeid explores the revolt, primarily through the stories of young men who take on the regime, including Suleiman, a wealthy middle manager turned activist; Mohammad, a father imprisoned for suspected Islamist ties and subjected to grisly tortures; and the pseudonymous Abu Azzam, a literature student turned rebel fighter. She also conveys the plight of noncombatants, such as one young girl, Ruha, and her family, who escape to Turkey to become "business-class refugees," out of immediate danger but enduring the hardships of a foreign country while trying to aid those in their hometown across the border. The author skillfully sets forth the complex political and military rivalries between those supporting and opposing the regime, discussing their backers from Saudi Arabia and Qatar as well as the foreign and homegrown fighters who became ISIS. In notes at the beginning and end, Abouzeid details her intense and perilous reporting process. She was banned from the country, she explains, soon after protests began, but nevertheless spent roughly three weeks a month clandestinely entering Syria for the next several years. Her grueling reportage is a formidable accomplishment. (Mar.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* By the end of 2017, estimates of deaths from the ongoing civil war in Syria ranged as high as 500,000. The conflict has drawn in, to varying degrees, the U.S., Iran, Russia, Lebanon, Turkey, and thousands of religiously motivated volunteers. Abouzeid, an award-winning journalist based in Lebanon, has provided a masterful, intense, and often personalized account of this seemingly endless conflict. Early on, the Syrian government branded Abouzeid as a spy, so much of her reporting has been clandestine, and it is necessarily focused upon the rebel side and rebel-held areas. Still, she strives for fairness and honesty. Some rebel partisans see a democratic, pluralistic future for Syria. Others speak in frighteningly narrow religious terms and long for a caliphate that includes the liberated surrounding states. The most eloquent and heartrending portions of Abouzeid's narrative concern civilians who are embroiled in the carnage directly and simply long for its end. This isn't a hopeful story, and the solution may come only through the exhaustion of both sides. This account could have benefited from a presentation of views from the government side, but Abouzeid's altogether intimate, revealing, and moving accomplishment is essential to any attempt to understand this tragedy.--Freeman, Jay Copyright 2018 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

Harrowing reporting from the front lines of the civil war in Syria.As Beirut-based freelance journalist Abouzeid, who has won the George Polk Award, writes in her opening pages, the Syrian government declared her an enemy and a spy fairly early in the popular uprising, forcing her not just to enter the country illegally, but also to focus on the opposition. That the book does not give equivalency, false or otherwise, to the government's side of the story does not diminish its objectivity or value. The author brings us the stories of people who, though capable of speaking for themselves, are not often heard from and might as well be voiceless insofar as audiences outside the country are concerned. By Abouzeid's account, all is chaos and ruin: so many people have died in the civil war in Syria that the U.N. long ago gave up trying to count them. The author is a reliable guide to the ethnic and religious intricacies of the struggle; one of the figures she interviews, while no friend of the regime, is an Alawite, like the ruling family, and therefore is reckoned to be one of them. That does not make him a friend of the opposition, not necessarily. Just so, some of the people Abouzeid profiles are members of militias allied with the Islamic State group and al-Qaida; many of the players involved answer in the affirmative to the question, "do you want the Quran to be the constitution in a future state?" Says one thoughtful rebel who figures prominently in the account, "We want an Islamic state, too, but only after we've liberated Syria and start liberating Lebanon, Palestine, and Jordan can we establish a caliphate." Readers without familiarity with the many strains of opposition to the Assad regime are likely to emerge from this book a touch less confusedthough without much cause for hope, either.An eye-opening account of those who "played a pivotal role in the revolution's trajectory." Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.