Syria: It Is Not a Woman’s World

Sadly, we have been reading a hearing a lot about Syria in the last some years. The news never seems to be good. I have recently read an absolutely stunningly good book by a Syrian man, Alaa Aljaleel, The Last Sanctuary in Aleppo: A remarkable true story of courage, hope and survival! The story is just amazing! It is about a man saving cats in war torn Aleppo. It is a true story, and highly recommend it to everyone! For this challenge I have however picked and bought a book a long time ago, Sabriya: Damascus Bitter Sweet by Ulfat Idilbi.

The book is set in the 1920s-1940s, in the aftermath of the Syrian revolts against the French colonizers. A young woman, Salma, wakes up one morning to find out that her favourite aunt has killed herself. The aunt, Sabriya, had taken care of her parents, and has spent her whole life in the shadow of men, her being a woman. Turns out Sabriya had written a memoir about her life.

Salma inherited this book, and therefore got to know who her aunt really was. Sabriya was a smart woman, who could have done well for herself, but times were different, but sadly times have not change that much in this sense. She was a good student and a feminist. She led a tragic life in many ways, even her love life was a tragedy.

I understand that this is an important book for Arab women in the region, showing that not much have changed, but that back in the days there were strong female characters not content with their lives and the way women were treated. As far as a book I found this to be an OK read, but nothing spectacular. The writing just did not do it for me. It started with the ending, with the woman who hang herself.

I also think it has an important message, but the story was predictable, and the characters stereotypical. It is a fast read, a good pick for someone who wants to read a book set in Syria written from a female perspective.

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