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August 21, 2013: A chemical weapons attack on the suburbs of Damascus reminds the world of the existence of the Syrian war. Hundreds of journalists from every corner of the world rush to the frontier only to leave disappointed when Obama decides not to bomb. They leave behind 200,000 estimated victims, and more than half of a population of 22 million people dispersed or re August 21, 2013: A chemical weapons attack on the suburbs of Damascus reminds the world of the existence of the Syrian war. Hundreds of journalists from every corner of the world rush to the frontier only to leave disappointed when Obama decides not to bomb. They leave behind 200,000 estimated victims, and more than half of a population of 22 million people dispersed or refugeed in nearby countries: the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII according to the UN. Francesca Borri is one of them. But she does not leave. She is 30 years old. For months she covers the battle of Aleppo as a freelance reporter. And she quickly realizes that to report a war is to hide with dozens of women and children, even a baby, born there, in a grave, "a piece of soil under the ground that is as expensive as three houses" or to scavenge for anything to burn for some warmth, "a broken slipper, the plastic hand of a toy" or to mistake bloody figments of skull for rubble. To report a war is also to meet with officials more worried about the stain of snow on their Clarks than the people they are supposed to help. It is to explain what is happening in Aleppo to journalists who have only been there once, on vacation, and bought a carpet. It is risking one's life because of the jealousy of a fellow reporter. And it is also about dreaming of driving at night with the windows open, about remembering impossible little things, the particular light on that day in that café at the beach when you were a kid, the eyes of people you love, all the minuscule simple joys that can be lost in a moment. Syrian Dust is a raw and powerful account of the Syrian war that throws the listener right in the middle of it, without any shelter.


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August 21, 2013: A chemical weapons attack on the suburbs of Damascus reminds the world of the existence of the Syrian war. Hundreds of journalists from every corner of the world rush to the frontier only to leave disappointed when Obama decides not to bomb. They leave behind 200,000 estimated victims, and more than half of a population of 22 million people dispersed or re August 21, 2013: A chemical weapons attack on the suburbs of Damascus reminds the world of the existence of the Syrian war. Hundreds of journalists from every corner of the world rush to the frontier only to leave disappointed when Obama decides not to bomb. They leave behind 200,000 estimated victims, and more than half of a population of 22 million people dispersed or refugeed in nearby countries: the worst humanitarian crisis since WWII according to the UN. Francesca Borri is one of them. But she does not leave. She is 30 years old. For months she covers the battle of Aleppo as a freelance reporter. And she quickly realizes that to report a war is to hide with dozens of women and children, even a baby, born there, in a grave, "a piece of soil under the ground that is as expensive as three houses" or to scavenge for anything to burn for some warmth, "a broken slipper, the plastic hand of a toy" or to mistake bloody figments of skull for rubble. To report a war is also to meet with officials more worried about the stain of snow on their Clarks than the people they are supposed to help. It is to explain what is happening in Aleppo to journalists who have only been there once, on vacation, and bought a carpet. It is risking one's life because of the jealousy of a fellow reporter. And it is also about dreaming of driving at night with the windows open, about remembering impossible little things, the particular light on that day in that café at the beach when you were a kid, the eyes of people you love, all the minuscule simple joys that can be lost in a moment. Syrian Dust is a raw and powerful account of the Syrian war that throws the listener right in the middle of it, without any shelter.

30 review for Syrian Dust: Reporting from the Heart of the War

  1. 5 out of 5

    Raphael Lysander

    As a Syrian I found this book very accurate in many parts, and reflects on how some people are suffering while the others enjoy the luxuries of life, and the contrast in living in such one country. However, the Syrian crises isn't a matter of "Suni-Shie" fight but of thirst for power like many other countries and dictators before, and also the book covers the early days of the Syrian revolution and crisis, therefore it only gives a peak on how this started but not how it involved. As a Syrian I found this book very accurate in many parts, and reflects on how some people are suffering while the others enjoy the luxuries of life, and the contrast in living in such one country. However, the Syrian crises isn't a matter of "Suni-Shie" fight but of thirst for power like many other countries and dictators before, and also the book covers the early days of the Syrian revolution and crisis, therefore it only gives a peak on how this started but not how it involved.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Radiantflux

    5th book for 2019. Borri's writes as a witness to the horrors of the Syrian conflict. Her only side is that of the Syrians themselves. Her writing is more poetry than prose, and captures in ways no news report I have ever read the horrors of war and the culpability of almost everyone: the hypocrisy of Western governments and their failure to act; NGOs, who happily collect money, but won't cross the border to deliver aid; reporters who are only there for their next big story, and leave as soon as 5th book for 2019. Borri's writes as a witness to the horrors of the Syrian conflict. Her only side is that of the Syrians themselves. Her writing is more poetry than prose, and captures in ways no news report I have ever read the horrors of war and the culpability of almost everyone: the hypocrisy of Western governments and their failure to act; NGOs, who happily collect money, but won't cross the border to deliver aid; reporters who are only there for their next big story, and leave as soon as prize season is past; media organizations who only want to talk about deaths, but never about causes; the horrors of bombing raids, on bread queues and hospitals; people (men, women, children) dropping in front of you from sniper fire; planes flying overhead deciding who is to die next; women giving birth in underground tombs, living in sewers with their children, under bombed out cities; death everywhere; constant war; no hope. 5-stars.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Sam Bahour

    The Italian journalist Francesca Borri texted me last week. Her message read, "I am just back from the Maldives...the non-Arab country with the highest number per capita of ISIS fighters, I have been a month with them." She had interviewed me a few years back and I remember her as being of high integrity and intellectually sharp, unlike most journalists these days. She was back in Ramallah, while awaiting permission to enter Gaza, and wanted to see if we could meet up. She had a book of hers she The Italian journalist Francesca Borri texted me last week. Her message read, "I am just back from the Maldives...the non-Arab country with the highest number per capita of ISIS fighters, I have been a month with them." She had interviewed me a few years back and I remember her as being of high integrity and intellectually sharp, unlike most journalists these days. She was back in Ramallah, while awaiting permission to enter Gaza, and wanted to see if we could meet up. She had a book of hers she wanted to gift me. We met for ice cream a few days later. Francesca proudly passed me her newly translated book, Syrian Dust, and we chatted about her coverage of the war in Syria and her work elsewhere. An amazing person she is, to say the least. We parted and on my way to the car I opened the book to read the inscription. It read, "FOR SAM...MAY BEAUTY NEVER ELUDE YOU AGAIN f." I was not quite sure what she meant. Then I read the book! I now know exactly what she meant. Syrian Dust is about the collapse of Syria, but it's more than that. It's about the Syrian people paying the price for all of this madness. If you have had, like I did, a hard time understanding how millions of Syrians would risk taking their family, or what remains thereof, and cross the Mediterranean Sea by boat to chance making it somewhere, anywhere, read this book. Additionally, Francesca takes on an angle which has become taboo to address, the art (and business) of journalism in today's day and age. She bravely calls it out, the journalists, the editors, the papers, the fixers, etc. She rightly points a finger at all those so-called journalists who excitingly write about anything and everything from the comfort of their air conditioned newsrooms, never even seeing the places or people they write about. Francesca, who can now be classified as a war correspondent, is an old-fashion journalist, the few that write from the field, the few that see the eyes of the people thy cover, not only events. My hat is off to her. To give you a tiny taste of her character, she writes: "And it’s as if this war has robbed you not of humanity, but has suddenly and still more violently, as if—as if—it’s left you naked in front of the mirror, exposed for what you really are, because you’re all that matters in your life, it bleeds to admit it, but this war hasn’t robbed you of anything, of anything, your humanity, your diverse selves, simply—never existed. All that matters is you. And what kind of a life is a life like that?" ~Francesca Borri, Syrian Dust (2016, Seven Stories Press) The publisher, Seven Stories Press, notes that "Syrian Dust is a raw and powerful account of the Syrian war that throws the reader right in the middle of it, without any shelter." I totally agree. I end by passing a message to Francesca here: "FOR FRANCESCA...BEAUTY WILL NEVER ELUDE YOU, BECAUSE YOU ARE BEAUTY ITSELF s."

  4. 4 out of 5

    Javier Quiroga

    Francesca, I don't know where I've read it but it also applies to you: You write like breathing. You write like breathing yet, what you write about is so horrible, so horrifying, so absurd; senseless, that it leaves me exhausted: breathless. I can't understand that drive -I'm only a waiter-, the drive to run into a hell while everybody else with a bit of common sense and the possibility to do it is desperately trying to flee away from it, but I thank you. And I fear for you. Even though I don't k Francesca, I don't know where I've read it but it also applies to you: You write like breathing. You write like breathing yet, what you write about is so horrible, so horrifying, so absurd; senseless, that it leaves me exhausted: breathless. I can't understand that drive -I'm only a waiter-, the drive to run into a hell while everybody else with a bit of common sense and the possibility to do it is desperately trying to flee away from it, but I thank you. And I fear for you. Even though I don't know you, even though I'll never meet you, even though this book isn't about you, I fear for you. That's the power of good writing. The power to engage other human beings into alien situations, and make them care. That's what you are fucking doing. And I fucking thank you for it.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    I first encountered Francesca Borri's writing the same way many did – by reading her much-shared article about the second-class treatment of freelancers on the frontline. And it's exactly this sort of fame which distresses Borri, as she was never the story. It should always have been Syria. If Borri is still carrying this insidious guilt, she deserves the comfort of knowing that her book will speak to people. And by speak, I mean shout. She captures the complexity and muddied politics of a ruined I first encountered Francesca Borri's writing the same way many did – by reading her much-shared article about the second-class treatment of freelancers on the frontline. And it's exactly this sort of fame which distresses Borri, as she was never the story. It should always have been Syria. If Borri is still carrying this insidious guilt, she deserves the comfort of knowing that her book will speak to people. And by speak, I mean shout. She captures the complexity and muddied politics of a ruined country through a human lens, and the immense suffering and wasted lives are never secondary concerns. Nor should they be. Because at the end of the day, war is always more than right or wrong. It's about people and their stories – and these should never be forgotten.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jonathan

    An absolute must read for those interested in the Syrian War and Aleppo. Part reporting, part memoir, she does an excellent job not only shining the light on Syria but also on the nonsense of her professional circles and journalism in general. She has a real knack for making you want to curl up in a ball due to the human suffering element; then hitting you with a acerbic black wit 2 liner that almost makes you feel bad for laughing. This one/two punch style does a superb job of communicating the An absolute must read for those interested in the Syrian War and Aleppo. Part reporting, part memoir, she does an excellent job not only shining the light on Syria but also on the nonsense of her professional circles and journalism in general. She has a real knack for making you want to curl up in a ball due to the human suffering element; then hitting you with a acerbic black wit 2 liner that almost makes you feel bad for laughing. This one/two punch style does a superb job of communicating the absurdity that is life in a combat zone, and Ms. Borri clearly has the talent to pull it off. I obviously couldn't put it down, while not a huge book, I read it in 2 days. Highly recommended.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Antonia

    This book gives you a unpolished view of what the war in Syria looks like, without any villains or good guys. It is a raw report from the front lines that reflects on the ignorance of the West that has the power to construe the Syrian narrative.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Ali

    A great book and an honest narrative of Syria and Syrians during their darkest hours, which did not turn to be their finest. Borri takes you to the corners one never heard or noticed in the media, telling you Syrians' stories, describing their pains and daily lives. She covers the story of an abandoned people, who are left helpless and defenseless, while their homes, cities, and country become the battlefield for foreign powers and their mercenaries. It is a must-read. A great book and an honest narrative of Syria and Syrians during their darkest hours, which did not turn to be their finest. Borri takes you to the corners one never heard or noticed in the media, telling you Syrians' stories, describing their pains and daily lives. She covers the story of an abandoned people, who are left helpless and defenseless, while their homes, cities, and country become the battlefield for foreign powers and their mercenaries. It is a must-read.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    A sad read. Written by an Italian journalist, this is a harrowing and honest look into Syria seven years ago. She very starkly described what she saw, what she learned, what she heard, and how it all affected her. I hope she got some good therapy after this. It is clear she carried the pain and trauma of what she saw even after she left.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Gouin

    This is the most powerful book I have read since Walden. Thank you Francesca Borri for barring witness for those in Syria. Words cannot express the emotions I have after reading this book! Nothing makes sense in the world to allow false politicians to turn a blind eye to the atrocities in Syria. We all should feel shame.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Claire Steakley

    Very informative. A bit repetitive at times. Also, the writing style didn't always suit my fancy. Very informative. A bit repetitive at times. Also, the writing style didn't always suit my fancy.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Dawn Froese

    It was hard to read and yet important.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    I cannot express how important this book is. Please, please read it. It broke my heart a million times over.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Poptart19 (ren)

    3.5 stars Good, informative read on the basics of the ongoing Syrian conflict.

  15. 4 out of 5

    RAMZI ABOZIR

    I read Syrian Dust because I had always seen Syria in the news but never got to see a real, first-person account of the current situation of the Syrian War. Where Borri's book shines is in it's dark and transparent view into the reality of the war. My view of it now is radically different than how I originally viewed it due to how it's portrayed in mass media. When seeing it in the news it always seems to follow a similar narrative; insurgents or terrorists fight against a totalitarian regime, b I read Syrian Dust because I had always seen Syria in the news but never got to see a real, first-person account of the current situation of the Syrian War. Where Borri's book shines is in it's dark and transparent view into the reality of the war. My view of it now is radically different than how I originally viewed it due to how it's portrayed in mass media. When seeing it in the news it always seems to follow a similar narrative; insurgents or terrorists fight against a totalitarian regime, both sides being mindless evil Arabs. With Borri's retelling of her time in Syria, readers will come to more of an understanding of the conflict's sides, intentions, and reasoning. Her telling of the Syrians stories, their living conditions, their escapes from war-torn cities. The raw and unfiltered look at the conflict makes you feel sick, as if you were the one reporting through the dust and attacks from both sides. A unique look, furthermore, as being a foreigner and a woman in Syria means being an outsider, with many Syrians giving very different responses based on their gender. Borri leaves nothing out and gives everything as it is, without glorifying war or violence. She covers the horrible hypocrisy of governments, charity NGOs, reporters, and even Syrians who will make false promises and take money without helping those in need in Aleppo, on the Border, or on the front lines. A gritty and true narrative, Borri exposes the Syrian conflict in all its chaos, death, rubble, and hope. Syrian Dust is sometimes hard to read, it never holds your hand, and it gives a real account of Syria that can't be found elsewhere.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Brian Page

    I would gladly read anything that Francesca Borri writes that gets translated into English from her native Italian. Syrian Dust: reporting from the heart of the battle for Aleppo, is a devastating critique of the Syrian conflict and its horrors; and Borri's account can be seen as either incredibly cynical or absolutely realistic. I suspect the latter is closer to the truth since her account ends in 2014 and NOTHING about the war has changed except to have grown worse. Now instead of coping with I would gladly read anything that Francesca Borri writes that gets translated into English from her native Italian. Syrian Dust: reporting from the heart of the battle for Aleppo, is a devastating critique of the Syrian conflict and its horrors; and Borri's account can be seen as either incredibly cynical or absolutely realistic. I suspect the latter is closer to the truth since her account ends in 2014 and NOTHING about the war has changed except to have grown worse. Now instead of coping with barrel bombs taking out a building, the Syrians experience Russian jets with high-explosive bombs taking out city blocks. Syrian Dust is a must-read for anyone interested in the Middle East, not just for those interested in the Syrian situation. No organization comes off well in Borri's account, not the Syrian government, not the international community, not the NGOs, not the fighting factions, and not the Press. Borri is even self-critical. There are no winners in Syria.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Filip

    Syrian Dust is very raw and powerfull book about real people, Syrians trying to survive in war torn Syria. For the most part book is good and I recommend it to everyone who is interested in Syrian war and people. But on the other hand text is sometimes really pathetic and like author is saying "im really streesed, look at me". I really didn't like that preachy part. Other thing that bothered me was her unqestioning support for Syrian opposition. Like she never, not once even tryes to give a glim Syrian Dust is very raw and powerfull book about real people, Syrians trying to survive in war torn Syria. For the most part book is good and I recommend it to everyone who is interested in Syrian war and people. But on the other hand text is sometimes really pathetic and like author is saying "im really streesed, look at me". I really didn't like that preachy part. Other thing that bothered me was her unqestioning support for Syrian opposition. Like she never, not once even tryes to give a glimpse of how supporter of Syrian goverment even thinks. It is really black and white for her, Bashar al-Assad and his supporter are bad, Syrian opposition is good. It is never that black and white and it sucks that she bends her jurnalistic integrity because she likes one side and blindly hates the other side. My biggest no no to the book is when mr. Borri explicitly supports Barack Obamas war intervention in Syria, like is she crazy or what, so much love for Syrian people that they need to suffer even more. So stupid.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Edwina Stevens

    So good to read something unselfish in this genre of writing/reporting. So objective and concise, you read her paragraphs and you can really see it, it made me feel sick. Not out for her own benefit in writing this, that's the way it feels, and from a woman's perspective again is always different, she's not paying lip service to anyone or anything. Some perspectives in here that are hard to find - such as the true state of humanitarian involvement for one. The only thing was the printing style... So good to read something unselfish in this genre of writing/reporting. So objective and concise, you read her paragraphs and you can really see it, it made me feel sick. Not out for her own benefit in writing this, that's the way it feels, and from a woman's perspective again is always different, she's not paying lip service to anyone or anything. Some perspectives in here that are hard to find - such as the true state of humanitarian involvement for one. The only thing was the printing style... the paper has tatty edges, like it had been 'in a war' or was 'from somewhere rough', that was a bit indulgent/naff.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Julie MacKay

    The content of this book was good and very eye-opening, however, the writing style didn't really work for me. Perhaps because it was a translation. There were some weird sentences starting with 'Because' and I couldn't figure out what the 'because' was connecting to. It does give a good insight into some aspects of the war and I would recommend reading it to get a deeper understanding of the situation in Syria. Reading the the book actually inspired me to find out more about the war via the inte The content of this book was good and very eye-opening, however, the writing style didn't really work for me. Perhaps because it was a translation. There were some weird sentences starting with 'Because' and I couldn't figure out what the 'because' was connecting to. It does give a good insight into some aspects of the war and I would recommend reading it to get a deeper understanding of the situation in Syria. Reading the the book actually inspired me to find out more about the war via the internet.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jon

    I’m usually fascinated with anything about Syria and the Middle East. This book didn’t grab me at all. Made it to page 60 and then read a few more pages later on before calling it quits. The author is an Italian journalist who tells stories from her time on ground between 2012 and 2014. Expected more.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Stacey Farley

    Just finished reading the book (not the audio book). Francesca is a fantastic journalist. Her work has really opened my eyes, this is easily one of the most illuminating books I have read this year!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Sarita

    So real, unbiased, detailed reporting of time spent in Aleppo during the Syrian War. So amazingly tragic to live there with the civilians who are trying hard to make it, which in turn, makes this book difficult to put down.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Saurabh

    The writing isnt amazing but it is powerful. Raw.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Michelle Hamlyn

    A difficult read. But very, very enlightening. I couldn't help but think about Elie Wiesel while reading. A difficult read. But very, very enlightening. I couldn't help but think about Elie Wiesel while reading.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Paige

    I rarely write reviews from books, especially those with which I have not received from the editor. But this one? This one is different. Syrian Dust is a captivating, poignant depiction of the Syrian conflict from 2012-2014. The book truly deserves to become a part of the literary canon but not solely because of Borri's style and narrative, which allow the reader to almost think she is standing beside Borri, watching a mother desperately try to claw away at the rubble, under which her child was I rarely write reviews from books, especially those with which I have not received from the editor. But this one? This one is different. Syrian Dust is a captivating, poignant depiction of the Syrian conflict from 2012-2014. The book truly deserves to become a part of the literary canon but not solely because of Borri's style and narrative, which allow the reader to almost think she is standing beside Borri, watching a mother desperately try to claw away at the rubble, under which her child was buried just moments ago when a rocket impacted feet away. No, it is not just this skill that Borri has so clearly mastered that makes her work an important read. Rather, Borri's book deserves attention and should be read by everyone because it is uncomfortable. Highlighting the failures of journalism, the nonprofit sector, and the Western world, Borri forces readers to grapple with how their own actions might be complicit in allowing--no, promoting--the ongoing crisis in Syria that has seen hundreds of thousands dead and millions displaced. How can one care so much about being the first to report a story that she's willing to tell another journalist the wrong directions to an event, leading her into sniper fire instead? How can NGOs claim to be providing humanitarian aid in war zones, when they remain on the sidelines, aiding just the refugees? How come every popular story in Western media about Syria can be stripped to motifs--the child soldier, the repentant jihadi, the amputee? These are just some of the questions Borri grapples with as she tells of her own experience covering the beginning years of the Syrian conflict. All the while, in every chapter, every section, every story, hangs the unspoken question that is likely as unsettling as the imagery Borri presents: how can we continue to standby? After reading this book, I don't think I'll ever be the same. And honestly? That's a good thing. Pick it up.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Audrey Lepage

    I first heard of Francesca Borri a few years ago when I read an excerpt of one of her articles about being a war reporter: Had I really understood something of war, I wouldn’t have gotten sidetracked trying to write about rebels and loyalists, Sunnis and Shia. Because really the only story to tell in war is how to live without fear. It all could be over in an instant. If I knew that, then I wouldn’t have been so afraid to love, to dare, in my life; instead of being here, now, hugging myself in t I first heard of Francesca Borri a few years ago when I read an excerpt of one of her articles about being a war reporter: Had I really understood something of war, I wouldn’t have gotten sidetracked trying to write about rebels and loyalists, Sunnis and Shia. Because really the only story to tell in war is how to live without fear. It all could be over in an instant. If I knew that, then I wouldn’t have been so afraid to love, to dare, in my life; instead of being here, now, hugging myself in this dark, rancid corner, desperately regretting all I didn’t do, all I didn’t say. You who tomorrow are still alive, what are you waiting for? Why don’t you love enough? You who have everything, why you are so afraid? I tried to start reading Syrian dust a few times before and somehow was never able to get into it. During this pandemic, I finally gave it another shot and I’m so glad I did because this is so worth reading. It is worth, but it is also very difficult. Syrian dust doesn’t explain you the war and doesn’t propose ways to stop it. It doesn’t justify the loss of human lives or try to make sense the chaos that is happening. This book is hard because it is the experience of the journalist who tries to inform about the atrocities of war and won’t get an audience. Because to westerners, it doesn’t really matter what happens in Syria. People don’t want to hear about the mess in Syria, they don’t want to hear that one of the only choices you have in Syria is to fight with the rebels, they don’t want to know that Al-Assad doesn’t mind attacking children and using chemical weapons against people fighting for freedom. Mostly, people don’t want to know that most of the world, the UN, the US, don’t do anything about it. For some reason, Borri stayed in Syria, even if it is hopeless. This book is her journey as a reporter, seeing atrocities and trying to make the rest of the world interest in the madness that is happening. If you want to understand a bit why so many civilians risk their lives crossing the Mediterranean or if you just want to realize how fortunate you are, you have to read this book.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Ed

    The time it took for Borri to write this book after multiple freelance (read: basically unsupported, unfunded) reporting trips to Aleppo in 2013, and then the time it took for it to be translated into English, makes the book no less current, no less incisive, no less essential. In fact, its roiling emotion--rage, shame, fear, bewilderment--is only magnified by the knowledge that in the intervening years, things have only gotten worse, and the world has only continued to look away, or, if we look The time it took for Borri to write this book after multiple freelance (read: basically unsupported, unfunded) reporting trips to Aleppo in 2013, and then the time it took for it to be translated into English, makes the book no less current, no less incisive, no less essential. In fact, its roiling emotion--rage, shame, fear, bewilderment--is only magnified by the knowledge that in the intervening years, things have only gotten worse, and the world has only continued to look away, or, if we look, we don't really see. She manages to get the message across in an oblique way that the insensitive or self-delusional can probably get away with overlooking, but it's there in black and white on page 196: "YOU ARE THE ASSHOLE." She's right, and has every right to say it.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Rflutist

    I needed to read this book in small doses as it covers the Syrian conflict in gruesome detail. Borri's work, which by three years predates the current reporting of Declan Walsh of the New York Times, remains uncanny in similarity. Comparing the work of Borri and Walsh demonstrates that little, if no progress, has been made in resolving the conflict or horror which the Syrian people face. Borri's book remains a testament of the will of war correspondents who return to conflict time and again to b I needed to read this book in small doses as it covers the Syrian conflict in gruesome detail. Borri's work, which by three years predates the current reporting of Declan Walsh of the New York Times, remains uncanny in similarity. Comparing the work of Borri and Walsh demonstrates that little, if no progress, has been made in resolving the conflict or horror which the Syrian people face. Borri's book remains a testament of the will of war correspondents who return to conflict time and again to bring to light and remind the rest of the world of the suffering of the innocent.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ayman H

    War journalism at its best. Francesca Borri understood Syria because she was there, amidst the ruins of Aleppo, among the Syrian people. Read this book to understand the Syrian tragedy and how the world failed the Syrian people.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gunnhild

    Wow. This book really made an impression, I can't remember last time I felt like this after a book. No happy ending though (obviously). Disillusion :/ Wow. This book really made an impression, I can't remember last time I felt like this after a book. No happy ending though (obviously). Disillusion :/

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