The ongoing conflict in Syria has made clear just how limited the general knowledge of Syrian society and history is in the West. For those watching the headlines and wondering what led the nation to this point, and what might come next, this book is a perfect place to start developing a deeper understanding.
Based on decades of living and working in Syria, My House in Damascus offers an inside view of Syria’s cultural and complex religious and ethnic communities. Diana Darke, a fluent Arabic speaker who moved to Damascus in 2004 after decades of regular visits, details the ways that the Assad regime, and its relationship to the people, differs from the regimes in Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya—and why it was thus always less likely to collapse quickly, even in the face of widespread unrest and violence. Through the author’s firsthand experiences of buying and restoring a house in the old city of Damascus, which she later offered as a sanctuary to friends, Darke presents a clear picture of the realities of life on the ground and what hope there is for Syria’s future.
Haus Publishing; August 2014
- ISBN: 9781908323651
- Read online, or download in secure ePub format
- Title: My House in Damascus
- Author: Diana Darke
Imprint: Haus Publishing
In The Press
“[W]ritten with the pace of a novel and the colour of the best travel writing. . . . [T]he book offers much more than a personal memoir: it is an eclectic but learned encyclopedia of Syrian history, of the Arabs and their language and traditions, of Islamic art and architecture, and more.”
— Times Literary Supplement
“[My House in Damascus] glows with . . . an understanding of and affection for the peoples of Syria.”
— Irish Times
“Written with honesty, wit and affection.”
— Tablet: The International Catholic News Weekly
“Darke’s powerful, moving new book . . . elegantly contrasts a real estate dream with Syria’s ongoing violent reality. . . . Her sensitive, knowing story captures a rare view of Syria and the stakes of the conflict from an up-close observer deeply versed in its culture.”
— New Republic
About The Author
Diana Darke is the author of the Bradt Travel Guide to Syria and has had a keen interest in the country since her first visit in 1978. She was forced to leave Damascus when the revolution began, but she has returned five times since.