We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria
LONG-LISTED FOR THE CARNEGIE MEDAL
Reminiscent of the work of Nobel Prize winner Svetlana Alexievich, an astonishing collection of intimate wartime testimonies and poetic fragments from a cross-section of Syrians whose lives have been transformed by revolution, war, and flight.
Against the backdrop of the wave of demonstrations known as the Arab Spring, in 2011 hundreds...more
(Note: I interviewed Pearlman about this book and you can check it out here: https://chireviewofbooks.com/2017/06/...)
Today, the word "refugee" is used in a horrible way. It's something either to be pitied or blamed for everything. Overpopulation? It's the refugees. Rents going up? It's the refugees. Crime? It's the refugees. If you label people refugees, they remain refugees for the rest of their lives. For that reason, the organization I work with here doesn't use this word. Instead, we say "newcomers." After a while, they are no longer newcomers - just members of society.Occasionally I read a book that ...more(p272)
Wendy Pearlman collected the interviews from hundreds of Syrian refugees. Under eight headings like "Hope Dissappointed" and "Living War", Pearlman extracts pieces -sentences, paragraphs, pages - and groups different interview messages together. What you get is a clear vision of the who/what/why of Syria.
I was struck over and over again by how similar their lives seemed - school, work, shopping, ...more
I consider myself up-to-date on the middle east and its’ countries.
But I knew so much less of Syria than I previously thought I knew.
This brilliant writer/editor, immersed in many of the Arab countries for decades, offered a compendium of present-day Syria and its’ neighbors and told the story through Syrian eyes.
The writer’s voice is not heard. Only the people she has interviewed.
What we hear are voices from many different ...more
My one slight criticism is that I wish that Pearlman had not translated every single utterance into English. Like "God is Great." She could have left a few Allah Akbar's in there. We know ...more
I know I will sound ignorant when I say this, or like I live inside of a nice little bubble that blocks out everything that is ugly in this world, but I had no real idea what all has been going on in Syria for the last several years. Did I know things were bad? Of course I did, but my eyes were closed to the extent and longevity of the suffering occurring within the Syrian ...more
If someone wants to try and understand what’s going on in Syria from the perspective of those who ...more
"Everything we've experienced has killed us. We check the news every second. This person is still alive; this person was killed......more
"I swear, in Syria nobody used to ask whether you're a Muslim or a Christian. We had no idea what religion our friends were.
"But none of that matters anymore. If I died this second, I wouldn't care. Because I've reached a point in my life where I hate everything. I am disgusted by humanity. We're basically the living dead. Sometimes I joke to Munir that someone should
With that being said, I rated this book three stars because of my personal experience while reading. While it was incredibly important for me to learn about the Syrian conflict from the mouths of people that experienced it, the weaved narrative from individual's ...more
This book was gut-wrenching. It's supposed to be a short read, yet it took me longer because I had to stop after reading certain entries. They were just too heartbreaking. I realise as an outsider looking on, it's easy to see the Syrian conflict as just that, a conflict, a war. We sometimes forget that it involves people's lives, many of them innocent.
Or sometimes ...more
|Play Book Tag: [Horizons] We Crossed a Bridge and it Trembled, by Wendy Pearlman, 4 stars||5||9||Aug 01, 2019 01:52PM|
|Play Book Tag: [Horizons - Syria] We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled - Wendy Pearlman - 5 stars||3||10||Jul 14, 2019 10:40PM|
|The F-word: April NONFICTION selection WE CROSSED A BRIDGE AND IT TREMBLED: VOICES FROM SYRIA||23||68||Aug 18, 2018 09:19AM|