We read about Syria in the news, we hear the stories of bombs and refugees and horror, of revolution, ISIS, of Russian and US involvement, and it all appears so horrific, so incomprehensible. Samar Yazbek brings the crisis to the forefront of our attention and through her beautiful and factual prose tells the real story. The Crossing was written after three trips to Syria between 2011 and 2013. Samar Yazbek, Syrian journalist, left Syria for Paris with her daughter during the early stages of the revolution as she was already wanted by the government. She crossed back into Syria with the intention of documenting and telling the world the real story of the Syrian Revolution. The Crossing portrays so many horrors, but also so much humanity amongst the rubble. Yazbek spends much of her time in Northern Syria with activists, normal men who have become soldiers for the revolution, and many, many women who are fighting to survive under the relentless bombing and fighting.
This is a heartbreaking read, but necessary. If you are interested in learning more about Syria and exactly how complicated the war is, and why so many people are fleeing their country, this is a must read. Nowadays we hear about ISIS strongholds and Assad’s government, but we really must remember that before the war and the senseless murders and horrific bombings and shellings, there was a popular revolution in Syria. The people rose to demand change, and were met with murderous opposition and also an infiltration of foreign powers intent on fighting their own wars on someone else’s land.