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My Country: A Syrian Memoir

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Kassem Eid survived arrest in al-Assad’s regime, a chemical weapons attack that shocked the world, and the siege of a city where he fought with the Syrian rebel army. This is his story—a unique and powerfully moving testimony for our times, with a foreword by Janine di Giovanni. On August 21, 2013, Kassem Eid nearly died in a sarin gas attack in the town of Moadamiya. At le Kassem Eid survived arrest in al-Assad’s regime, a chemical weapons attack that shocked the world, and the siege of a city where he fought with the Syrian rebel army. This is his story—a unique and powerfully moving testimony for our times, with a foreword by Janine di Giovanni. On August 21, 2013, Kassem Eid nearly died in a sarin gas attack in the town of Moadamiya. At least 1,500 people were killed. Later that day, he was hit by a mortar while helping the Free Syrian Army fight government forces. He survived that, too. But his entire world—friends, neighbors, family, everything he knew—had been devastated beyond repair. Eid recalls moving to Moadamiya in 1989, at the age of three. The streets where he and his eleven siblings played were fragrant with jasmine. But he soon realized that he was treated differently at school because of his family's Palestinian immigrant origins, and their resistance to the brutal regime. When Bashar al-Assad succeeded his father in 2000, hopes that he would ease the state's severity were swiftly crushed. The unprecedented scope of this brave, deeply felt memoir makes it unique in the body of literature to emerge from the Syrian civil war. Eid illuminates the realities of growing up in a corrupt dictatorship; the strictures of living under siege; the impact of unspeakable violence; and how, at extraordinary personal risk, he drew worldwide attention to the assault on cities across Syria. This is a searing account of oppression, war, grit, and escape, and a heartbreaking love letter to a world lost forever.


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Kassem Eid survived arrest in al-Assad’s regime, a chemical weapons attack that shocked the world, and the siege of a city where he fought with the Syrian rebel army. This is his story—a unique and powerfully moving testimony for our times, with a foreword by Janine di Giovanni. On August 21, 2013, Kassem Eid nearly died in a sarin gas attack in the town of Moadamiya. At le Kassem Eid survived arrest in al-Assad’s regime, a chemical weapons attack that shocked the world, and the siege of a city where he fought with the Syrian rebel army. This is his story—a unique and powerfully moving testimony for our times, with a foreword by Janine di Giovanni. On August 21, 2013, Kassem Eid nearly died in a sarin gas attack in the town of Moadamiya. At least 1,500 people were killed. Later that day, he was hit by a mortar while helping the Free Syrian Army fight government forces. He survived that, too. But his entire world—friends, neighbors, family, everything he knew—had been devastated beyond repair. Eid recalls moving to Moadamiya in 1989, at the age of three. The streets where he and his eleven siblings played were fragrant with jasmine. But he soon realized that he was treated differently at school because of his family's Palestinian immigrant origins, and their resistance to the brutal regime. When Bashar al-Assad succeeded his father in 2000, hopes that he would ease the state's severity were swiftly crushed. The unprecedented scope of this brave, deeply felt memoir makes it unique in the body of literature to emerge from the Syrian civil war. Eid illuminates the realities of growing up in a corrupt dictatorship; the strictures of living under siege; the impact of unspeakable violence; and how, at extraordinary personal risk, he drew worldwide attention to the assault on cities across Syria. This is a searing account of oppression, war, grit, and escape, and a heartbreaking love letter to a world lost forever.

30 review for My Country: A Syrian Memoir

  1. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader

    4.5 stars to the powerfully written My Country: A Syrian Memoir! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ .5 The stories and images out of Syria have haunted me. I want to know more, read more, understand more. I thought My Country would be a fortunate reading opportunity for me to attempt those things, and I am grateful that Kassem Eid survived to tell this story, his story. Eid, a Palestinian immigrant, describes his childhood in Syria, the jasmine-scented streets, and his experiences in school. He notices that he is treat 4.5 stars to the powerfully written My Country: A Syrian Memoir! ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ .5 The stories and images out of Syria have haunted me. I want to know more, read more, understand more. I thought My Country would be a fortunate reading opportunity for me to attempt those things, and I am grateful that Kassem Eid survived to tell this story, his story. Eid, a Palestinian immigrant, describes his childhood in Syria, the jasmine-scented streets, and his experiences in school. He notices that he is treated differently at school because he is Palestinian. He is always an outsider, and his accomplishments are somewhat limited because of that. While Eid is growing up, Bashar al-Assad becomes the new leader of Syria, and any wish that he would be more tolerant than his father is quickly dashed. Al-Assad is known for his tyrannical ways to this day, and as his hold on Syria grows stronger, a revolution is generated in response. Al-Assad, in turn, reacts with arrests and extreme violence. As a result, Eid experienced a civil war in his country during his teen years. In 2013, Kassem Eid is living in Moadamiya, Syria, just outside of Damascus, when there is a gas attack by the government. While a large number of residents are killed right before his eyes, Eid survives. The same day, he is hit by a mortar while he is assisting the Free Syrian Army against al-Assad’s army (i.e., the government’s military). While Eid survives physically, all around him is completely wiped out. He loses everything, and he continues to feel the aftershocks and ongoing devastation that happens in Syria on a daily basis. This book is beyond timely and exceedingly important. Eid’s experience is human, raw, and beautifully written. My favorite parts are his descriptions of the majesty of Syria during his early childhood and his family life, but the salient, paramount parts, though difficult to read, are everything else. Thank you to Bloomsbury for the ARC. My Country: A Syrian Memoir will be published on July 3, 2018. My reviews can also be found on my blog: www.jennifertarheelreader.com

  2. 5 out of 5

    Paul

    Kassem Eid grew up in the jasmine streets of Moadamiya, a small town on the outskirts of the ancient city of Damascus. He was not a native Syrian, but his parents were Palestinian refugees who had made this country their home. He was bright and was really looking forward to school, but on his first day, he realised that he was never going to be fully accepted because of his origins. He had already taught himself to read using the Readers Digest that his father had, and was really looking forward Kassem Eid grew up in the jasmine streets of Moadamiya, a small town on the outskirts of the ancient city of Damascus. He was not a native Syrian, but his parents were Palestinian refugees who had made this country their home. He was bright and was really looking forward to school, but on his first day, he realised that he was never going to be fully accepted because of his origins. He had already taught himself to read using the Readers Digest that his father had, and was really looking forward to school, but just how much of an outsider he was dawned on him when he first went to school. In 2000 Bashar al-Assad succeeded his father as the leader of Syria. There was a glimmer of hope in the country that he would be a little more tolerant than his father. These were dashed fairly quickly when he gripped the country with an even fiercer tyrannical government. Eleven years later revolution swept across the region with the Arab spring. Each country reacted differently to the uprisings, but Syria crushed any protest with arrests and violence. There was only one way that this was going to go and as Kassem reached his mid-teens, the country was spiralling into civil war. The regime was prepared to use any means to keep the parts of the country suppressed, including chemical warfare, and on one day in August, Moadamiya, where he lived, was attacked with Sarin gas. He saw many people die that day in the horrible way that the poison works, but he survived. That was the day that he joined the Free Syrian Army; that was the day he first picked up a gun. This is a book that demands to be read. The situation in Syria has now reached crisis point especially with the recent military action that the UK was involved with. The people of Syria have suffered enough at the hands of the brutal dictatorship; all these people want to do is live in peace in their own country. Sadly though they are a pawn in the battle between the USA and Russia and until that is resolved, people die. Eid's book about his life spent there tells the story of the brutality suffered by him and other under the authorities is heart-wrenching stuff. With his background, he was always going to be an outsider whichever country he lived in, but he still has the right to choose that country and be able to make the choice to stay in Syria. If you have a single shred of humanity in you, then you need to read this book.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Jill Dobbe

    A shocking account of a Palestinian immigrant who grew up in Syria and survived to tell about the atrocities committed by Al-Assad's government. Eid recalls entering his childhood home and witnessing the destruction of everything his family had once owned. He gives heartbreaking details as he watches his friends die one by one, helping to bury them while running from snipers in his neighborhood. Eid is devastated as he watches children die, as a result of hunger and suffocation from a chemical a A shocking account of a Palestinian immigrant who grew up in Syria and survived to tell about the atrocities committed by Al-Assad's government. Eid recalls entering his childhood home and witnessing the destruction of everything his family had once owned. He gives heartbreaking details as he watches his friends die one by one, helping to bury them while running from snipers in his neighborhood. Eid is devastated as he watches children die, as a result of hunger and suffocation from a chemical attack that rained down on Syria. The unspeakable violence he witnessed around him was difficult to read about; I can't begin to imagine what it must have been like to live through it. My Country is an emotional book that gives a first-hand account of what continues to happen in Syria. Eid uses social media, is interviewed by reporters, joins the Free Syrian Army, and goes on a hunger strike, all in order to get word-wide attention and help that never comes. His bravery knows no bounds as he fights against the oppression and the demise of his beloved Syria. An exceptional book that should be read by everyone who cares about humanity. Thank you Net Galley and Bloomsbury Publishing.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Stefanie Kern

    Here we go. When I started reading this book I was shocked, at my own unawareness of just exactly what was going on in Syria. I had been working with refugee children and most of them told me in shaky German or English how they reached Germany. Alone, abandoned, unaware of their families’ whereabouts. Living in the EU you get some information but you don’t get the full picture- how could you? Most of what you learn is determined by the media after all and they- like everybody else- have their ag Here we go. When I started reading this book I was shocked, at my own unawareness of just exactly what was going on in Syria. I had been working with refugee children and most of them told me in shaky German or English how they reached Germany. Alone, abandoned, unaware of their families’ whereabouts. Living in the EU you get some information but you don’t get the full picture- how could you? Most of what you learn is determined by the media after all and they- like everybody else- have their agenda. This being said, I agree with Mr. Eid that it is shameful I myself and so many others stopped paying attention to the sufferings of the Syrian people and I agree with Mr. Eid that our lack of awareness enabled a ruthless regime to continue hurting and killing innocents. In this respect his book offers a strong and gut-wrenching insight. Trying to find out more about Kassem Eid and his journey I googled him and managed to find several Youtube videos but their content made me stop reading his book for a day, because it was so... irritating... I guess? I was very surprised to find out Mr. Eid has become a Donald Trump- fan of sorts (Donald Trump… of all people…) To some extend I understand *why* he is grateful to a person I personally consider a racist, misogynist, power-crazed baffoon- who poses a serious threat to democracy in the United State, I really do. Mr. Trump short-temperedly ordered several airstrikes that -from Eid’s desperate perspective- must have seemed like the long-awaited blessing Obama “denied” the rebells – but I don't believe for one second they were intended as such. Eid nonetheless rallys for Trump, thanking him on TV on several occasions. He seems to be blissfully unaware that he instrumentalises himself for American politics based on a shortsighted infatuation with a person who doesn’t even flinch while -randomly banning Muslims from entering the United States, -separating refugee children from their families and imprisoning them, -disrespecting and humiliating women, “grabbing them by the pussy” and challenging their rights to govern over their own bodies. (Some of these issues seemed to upset Eid a lot, when done by the Assad-regime.) -robbing millions of their affordable health insurance -threatening the entire planet with his environmental politics (just to name a few) Kassem Eid himself seems to be guilty of a crime he (rightfully so) holds the rest of the world accountable for: Ignorance for the situation in another country or political situation. By no means do I want to be so crass as to compare the situation in Syria with the situation in the U.S. but I can’t shake the very very stale aftertaste the televised appearences of Mr. Eid left me with. Dear Mr. Eid, I bought and carefully read your book and I don’t regret it. It is a very interesting read and it made me want to learn more. I deeply symapthise with your people and hope that European politicians will wake up and put an end to this humanitarian catastrophe. I will even recommend your book to my friends to raise awareness but I will always have to add that I know of your views on Donald Trump (who is currently under investigation for collusion with the same Russian government who (indirectly) support Assad’s regime by the way) and don’t approve of them. Please, ask yourself what Trump would do if he were in Assad’s place. Thank you. All of the aforesaid is my personal understanding of the situation. I don't think I got it all figured out and I'm trying to learn more. Also, I don't intent to belittle what Eid has endured.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mike

    There's little doubt that what Eid says in this book is true, and that Assad is guilty of immense war crimes - helped, of course, by other countries who for their own ends want to keep him in power. Propaganda claiming that Assad is somehow doing his country good has to be ignored. This is certainly a difficult book to read in terms of the bitterness and grimness of what life was like for Eid and his fellow citizens: between starving and being bombarded continually by the regime, there was littl There's little doubt that what Eid says in this book is true, and that Assad is guilty of immense war crimes - helped, of course, by other countries who for their own ends want to keep him in power. Propaganda claiming that Assad is somehow doing his country good has to be ignored. This is certainly a difficult book to read in terms of the bitterness and grimness of what life was like for Eid and his fellow citizens: between starving and being bombarded continually by the regime, there was little hope. Perhaps one of the saddest and strangest paragraphs in the book speaks of how - only a few miles away from where Syrians were starving - the restaurants in Damascus held hundreds of people eating their full. After attempting to influence world media from the midst of the battleground, Eid has spent the last couple of years away from Syria trying to tell the world about the atrocities committed there. In many ways, his voice has fallen on deaf ears, especially in the United States, among those who have political power. Whether this is because there are other voices - Syrian ones - claiming he's telling lies or whether the world doesn't want to listen, it's not easy to tell. The book itself is a bit of a mixed bag. It covers a number of years, and takes some time to get to its focus. There are many interesting anecdotes, and we do get a clearer picture of Syria both before and during the battles than we might otherwise have had. But the blog section towards the end seems repetitive and doesn't add a lot to the more valuable material that's gone before. There's also no explanation (unless I missed it) as to how the rebels in Moadamiya got food and supplies (before the starvation period) when none of them were working, and how Eid, for instance, managed to Skype and call overseas journalists when he was earning no money. You get the impression there was almost free access via these means, which is unlikely. This isn't to say that he didn't do these things. It might have been helpful for readers who know the difficulties of keeping a cellphone running when you have little or no electricity, to know how these things were achieved.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    This is such a moving and important memoir that asks the troubling question: if the world knows about the suffering in Syria, why does it not act? Kassem Eid has experienced more in his young life than most people will in a lifetime, and he commands our attention and our respect from the first page of this extraordinary testament to the last. I'm very much looking forward to meeting him at the Adelaide Writers Week on 4 March (2019) and talking with him (and Nazanin Sahamizadeh of the play 'Manu This is such a moving and important memoir that asks the troubling question: if the world knows about the suffering in Syria, why does it not act? Kassem Eid has experienced more in his young life than most people will in a lifetime, and he commands our attention and our respect from the first page of this extraordinary testament to the last. I'm very much looking forward to meeting him at the Adelaide Writers Week on 4 March (2019) and talking with him (and Nazanin Sahamizadeh of the play 'Manus') in the session called 'Out of Sight'.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Javier

    An excellently written and extremely moving memoir of a Syrian-Palestinian revolutionary based in Moadimiya, a town on the southern outskirts of Damascus. This first-hand account of the Syrian Revolution, its hopes and suppression, is essential reading. May more of us be like those who have supported Kassem and the Syrian people in their struggles for freedom, human rights, and accountability against such a vicious regime as Assad's. An excellently written and extremely moving memoir of a Syrian-Palestinian revolutionary based in Moadimiya, a town on the southern outskirts of Damascus. This first-hand account of the Syrian Revolution, its hopes and suppression, is essential reading. May more of us be like those who have supported Kassem and the Syrian people in their struggles for freedom, human rights, and accountability against such a vicious regime as Assad's.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Ceyrone

    My Country: A Syrian Memoir by Kassem Eid, isn’t an easy read, it’s heartbreaking and devastating and just makes your blood boil at what some governments can get away with, I mean we are seeing it today with Israel. This recounts the life of a Syrian-Palestinian refugee growing up in the regime of Al-Assad. Kassem documents his journey fighting against Al-Assad rebels while trying to provide foreign press with proof that the Syrian government is terrorising a large segment of the population, Inc My Country: A Syrian Memoir by Kassem Eid, isn’t an easy read, it’s heartbreaking and devastating and just makes your blood boil at what some governments can get away with, I mean we are seeing it today with Israel. This recounts the life of a Syrian-Palestinian refugee growing up in the regime of Al-Assad. Kassem documents his journey fighting against Al-Assad rebels while trying to provide foreign press with proof that the Syrian government is terrorising a large segment of the population, Including women and children. The memoir documents the initial peaceful protest that turns into the shooting of the citizens, mass burials, the blocking of truck from delivering food, the use of Sarin gas, which is a deadly chemical that leaves the victim to die an agonising death as the chemical attacks their nervous system, which is supposedly banned under international law. Eid documents his 30 hunger strike to highlight the plight of the Syrians and then his eventual escape to Lebanon and eventually to the United States. While living in Washington DC, Eid attended rallies, interview, face speeches but came to realise Americans are ignorant of world affairs due to lack of knowledge and ended up leaving the US only to settle in Germany as a refugee, he continues to fight for Syria. This is a must read for anyone who has no idea what has gone down in Syria. Expand your mind. ‘He exposed the sermons about shared humanity as lies and proved that, when confronted with obvious and unspeakable evil, the world will do everything in its power to look away ‘

  9. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Cooper

    Kassem Eid spent most of his life in Moadamiya, just outside Damascus. Life changed dramatically for both him and the other residents of his beloved city when it came under siege. This is Kassem’s memoir in which he reflects on life in his war-torn homeland. I found this book absolutely fascinating, not just because of Kassem Eid’s story, but also because of the facts which were given about Syria, its regime, Islam and the horrors of living in a war zone. As a result of this I had to concentrate Kassem Eid spent most of his life in Moadamiya, just outside Damascus. Life changed dramatically for both him and the other residents of his beloved city when it came under siege. This is Kassem’s memoir in which he reflects on life in his war-torn homeland. I found this book absolutely fascinating, not just because of Kassem Eid’s story, but also because of the facts which were given about Syria, its regime, Islam and the horrors of living in a war zone. As a result of this I had to concentrate a lot at the start of the book to ensure I understood the context. It was an extremely interesting book throughout. It is violent, harrowing, honest, tender, compassionate, frightening and heart-wrenching, a collection of adjectives which are not normally seen together but which combine to make compelling, if distressing, reading. The main impact that this book had on me was to bring home the brutal reality of what it was like for everyday people living in war-torn Syria. News coverage does not really affect me in the same way as there is always the feeling/suspicion that the worst area has been filmed for dramatic effect. In this book there is no obvious propaganda or sensationalism – this was real. And the reality was widespread, affecting huge numbers of ordinary and completely innocent people who just wanted to get on with their everyday lives. They were denied this opportunity, surely a basic human right, not only because of the fighting, bombing and chemical attacks but also because of less conventional forms of assault – the withdrawal of basic provisions like food, water, power and medicine. Even more powerful was the description of how these essentials were in plentiful supply in neighbouring areas where the regime were based but had been deliberately withheld from the districts which were seen to harbour enemies of the state. I can’t really find anything negative to say about this book. It is what it is - Kassem’s version of events as they unfurled. I would thoroughly recommend this book to anyone. It gives a personal perspective on the Syrian crisis from someone who lived there at the time.

  10. 4 out of 5

    David McDonald

    This book is one of the most heartbreaking, honest and real books I have ever read. It's very east to read, finishing it in basically 3 sittings. Kassem talks openly about his inner thought process and emotional pain as his country is turned into a warzone. He goes into great detail about the 2013 Syrian chemical attacks by the Asaad regime. This book is one of the most heartbreaking, honest and real books I have ever read. It's very east to read, finishing it in basically 3 sittings. Kassem talks openly about his inner thought process and emotional pain as his country is turned into a warzone. He goes into great detail about the 2013 Syrian chemical attacks by the Asaad regime.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Helēna

    Everyone should read this book. It reminded me a lot of The Raqqa Diaries by Samer (I wonder where life has brought him). A beautiful, tragic and very personal account of Syrian war. If nothing else can be done, we should read about the conflict and avoid falling in the path of ignorance.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Bruce McNair

    Kassem Eid is a Palestinian-Syrian born in Damascus to Palestinian refugees, but now he is a refugee from Syria because of the Syrian Civil War. His childhood was relatively peaceful, except for harsh lessons about the difference between Sunnis and the ruling Alawites. And then Hafez al-Assad, the self-made President died and Syria’s security apparatus tightened. This was followed by a sham of an election that confirmed Bashar al-Assad’s ascension to the presidency. Kassem soon learned that the Kassem Eid is a Palestinian-Syrian born in Damascus to Palestinian refugees, but now he is a refugee from Syria because of the Syrian Civil War. His childhood was relatively peaceful, except for harsh lessons about the difference between Sunnis and the ruling Alawites. And then Hafez al-Assad, the self-made President died and Syria’s security apparatus tightened. This was followed by a sham of an election that confirmed Bashar al-Assad’s ascension to the presidency. Kassem soon learned that the Assad family controlled everything in Syria. His attempts to leave Syria for Britain were stymied by both Syria and Britain. And in Syria, from school onwards, Kassem found that connections, that he didn’t have, mattered, whether it was achieving at school, getting a job, or even proposing to marry. Then the Arab Spring started, and Kassem and others dared to dream of freedom from Assad’s oppression. In Moadamiya, the demonstrations start, which Kassem is reluctant to join at first and then warned by his mother not to for fear of what might happen to his family. Eventually, he felt compelled to join the protests. As the violence escalated, the locals armed themselves in order to fight back. Army officers began to defect and they helped train the inexperienced members of the Free Syrian Army. The fight back began, but this only spurred the regime to hit the town harder resulting in two massacres. The struggle between the opposing forces turned to stalemate, and then the regime pulled back its forces and bombed the town. The regime cracked down on all entrances to the town, enforcing a siege and starving the residents. And then the unthinkable happened, the regime resorted to a sarin gas attack on the town. Kassem struggled through the town, blacked out, and woke in one of the makeshift hospitals. When he was able, he joined the freedom fighters, and for the first time fired a gun and killed enemy soldiers. Over the ensuing days, he blacked out several more times. When the regime was caught out using sarin, it resorted to siege and starvation. Kassem documented, to numerous journalists around the world, the events in Moadamiya, including the deaths by starvation of two infants. To call the world’s attention to their plight, Kassem went on an extended hunger strike. Meanwhile, the regime continued to refuse to allow food into the town unless those that remain accede to their ridiculous demands, which included handing over people like Kassem. Eventually, when he had had enough, Kassem plotted his escape. Finally, he won his freedom and made his way to the US via Lebanon. Once in the US, he went on a speaking tour, but became disillusioned with progress due to the domestic and international politics. I found this to be a harrowing tale of survival at all cost. The bravery in the face of insurmountable odds seems pointless to us in our safe houses. But you have to admire the perseverance of a persecuted people facing death at any moment. This story provides the backdrop for the seemingly endless streams of refugees from Syria as they try to find protection in the West where many regimes are equally prepared to keep them out. How do we address the sad story of a country tearing itself apart? Of a regime so heartless that it is prepared to use any means to silence dissent? Of people hoping for freedom only to have it dashed by the regime? Or on escaping, finding that the world has turned against them? This story is a reminder of all those other stories of repression, torture, massacre, and savagery that preceded it and almost certainly will follow it. I gave this story 5 stars.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Glasse

    My Country: A Syrian Memoir by Kassem Eid , as title suggests, recounts the life of a Syrian- Palestinian refugee growing up amid the atrocities of the Al-Assad regime in the 90’s and 21 century. Kassem carefully and meticulously documented his journey fighting against Al-Assad rebels while trying to give foreign press proof that the Syrian government was accurately reigning down terror on a large segment of the population ;including women and children. The government went from allowing peaceful My Country: A Syrian Memoir by Kassem Eid , as title suggests, recounts the life of a Syrian- Palestinian refugee growing up amid the atrocities of the Al-Assad regime in the 90’s and 21 century. Kassem carefully and meticulously documented his journey fighting against Al-Assad rebels while trying to give foreign press proof that the Syrian government was accurately reigning down terror on a large segment of the population ;including women and children. The government went from allowing peaceful protests to blocking trunks from delivering food to different towns, to shooting citizens burying their loved ones and eventually using Sarin gas, a deadly chemical that paralyzed the nervous system leaving its victims to die a agonizing death, on the young and most vulnerable. Eid also documented his escaped to Lebanon and eventually the United States. While living in Washington,DC , Kassem attended rallies , gave speeches and interviews with the national press and networks. Kissem , however, became disillusioned with United States and their lack of knowledge about the Middle East. He later left the United Stated and settled in Germany as a refugee while he continues his fight for Syria . This memoir is a must read . Far to many people are not aware of some of the various atrocities that are committed every day around the world ; Kassem Eid should be commended for his bravery.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Just Reading

    This book is what you don’t hear when you think about war. We always see the numbers of people affected by war on the news but we can never sympathise with them because we end up looking at war through numbers and not lives and stories. This book is only one life out of millions who were affected and it really will break your heart to hear his story. Whenever I found myself not reading the book I was thinking about what I read throughout day and night. After this I see war with completely new ey This book is what you don’t hear when you think about war. We always see the numbers of people affected by war on the news but we can never sympathise with them because we end up looking at war through numbers and not lives and stories. This book is only one life out of millions who were affected and it really will break your heart to hear his story. Whenever I found myself not reading the book I was thinking about what I read throughout day and night. After this I see war with completely new eyes. I see humans rather than numbers. It’s so tragic what people go through. This is a story of a man who as he grows from childhood to adulthood begins to awaken and understand the dictatorial regime oppressing his own people and though they knew a conflict would occur one day they the people could never imagine how their lives would change. Stop the documentaries. Stop watching the news. Read this book and there is a good chance you will never view war the same again especially the ones ongoing now. Kassam has a way of really making the reader feel part of what he felt and almost puts you in his shoes. It’s a relatively short read however it’s a good book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    AllAboutBooks

    An unforgettable memoir of growing up in Syria under al-Assad's regime, surviving a gas attack, and rallying worldwide support to break the siege of cities across the country, with a foreword by Janine di Giovanni. Very few people understand what internally displaced people and refugees go through. If you have a friend who does not understand the issue around refugees and migrants, this book will certainly open their eyes. In my country Pakistan, we have dealt with the Afghan refugee crisis with An unforgettable memoir of growing up in Syria under al-Assad's regime, surviving a gas attack, and rallying worldwide support to break the siege of cities across the country, with a foreword by Janine di Giovanni. Very few people understand what internally displaced people and refugees go through. If you have a friend who does not understand the issue around refugees and migrants, this book will certainly open their eyes. In my country Pakistan, we have dealt with the Afghan refugee crisis with compassion and have hosted more than a million Afghan refugees. The world can learn a thing or two from that. It's available in Pakistan here: https://chapters.pk/products/my-count...

  16. 4 out of 5

    Chiro Pipashito T H

    Given the duration and severity of humanitarian disaster in Syria, including chemical attack and starvation, this could have been a brilliant memoir. But overall lack of writing skill has completely ruined that. Even 10 year olds write better prose. To begin with, I simply did not like the author even before the war. An arrogant and unruly school boy who even hit his female teacher at school. And the way he found love with his sweetheart -first the girl ignored the boy then he saved her from the Given the duration and severity of humanitarian disaster in Syria, including chemical attack and starvation, this could have been a brilliant memoir. But overall lack of writing skill has completely ruined that. Even 10 year olds write better prose. To begin with, I simply did not like the author even before the war. An arrogant and unruly school boy who even hit his female teacher at school. And the way he found love with his sweetheart -first the girl ignored the boy then he saved her from the attack by a few other boys and then she fell in love with him - was melodramatic like an Indian movie. I understand war has atrocities that simply defy any logic or any belief, but the stories in this book seem to be embellished or exaggerated.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Louise Donegan

    It is hard to believe that the conflict in Syria has raged for over eight years now. Truly this is a depressing, terrible story accounting for the brutality of the Assad regime. Sadly one can understand how Syrians feel that the word has forgotten Syria even in the face of atrocities such as sarin gas attacks. One can only hope and agitate for a more peaceful future for the country. Well written and engaging, this is a book everyone needs to read.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Ouston

    Read this book for the honesty, the heartache and the love. Read it for the education you need to receive about Syria and the myriad of atrocities still taking place. Do what the author asks, and don’t forget.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Suad D

    Kaseem's tells an important story through his memoir during war in Syria. Surviving the siege of his town and the worst attack ever, the chemical attack. This brave book documents the dark history of what happened, and still happening, in Syria. Kaseem's tells an important story through his memoir during war in Syria. Surviving the siege of his town and the worst attack ever, the chemical attack. This brave book documents the dark history of what happened, and still happening, in Syria.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Nafeesa

    A very important read. Eid’s experiences in his home town had me moved to tears. I can’t believe war crimes like these happen and the world just sweeps all of this under a rug.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    A gruelling account of the author's life in Syria. Relentlessly shocking, this is nevertheless a book that everyone should read. A gruelling account of the author's life in Syria. Relentlessly shocking, this is nevertheless a book that everyone should read.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Taloot S.

    An insight on syrian revolutionary movement though biased.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Lily Fox

    Heart breaking and moving (you to act)

  24. 5 out of 5

    Axel

    Ein af mörgum frásögnum um uppreisnina og stríðið í Sýrlandi sem fólk ætti að lesa.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sean Queen

    I couldn't put this text down. I was most-heartbroken that America didn't do more to help Kassem Eid and the Syrian revolution. I couldn't put this text down. I was most-heartbroken that America didn't do more to help Kassem Eid and the Syrian revolution.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Gabriela Castellanos

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. It is the first time I read a book written by a Syrian refugee about the situation there. He survived a chemical attack in 2013, and the way he described all his life living in a war zone with so many unfair situations makes me realize that anybody could act as a “rebel” against an oppressive government. Why at least 400,000 people have died for thinking different? Why so many have to leave their land and find somewhere else to rebuild a life and always being called refugees? It is a cruel, but It is the first time I read a book written by a Syrian refugee about the situation there. He survived a chemical attack in 2013, and the way he described all his life living in a war zone with so many unfair situations makes me realize that anybody could act as a “rebel” against an oppressive government. Why at least 400,000 people have died for thinking different? Why so many have to leave their land and find somewhere else to rebuild a life and always being called refugees? It is a cruel, but real situation that we (the rest of the world) haven’t been able to look at closely. Many have lost their lives and the rest have lost hope. I wish that a lot of people could read this book and maybe you too will have a different perspective from Syria.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Linda_pilko

    Read this in one sitting because I was holding my breath and my heart.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Suzanne

    An important and timely memoir of war torn Syria.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Clémentine Destombes

  30. 4 out of 5

    Tyler

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