My aim in the piece was to lay out for readers a story about an individual in incredibly difficult circumstances, forced to make a series of hard choices…. It became clear that from his perspective not every choice he made was the right choice.
Nick Foretek is the author of “The Philosopher’s Wine”, a long-read for Newlines that tells the story of several years in the life of one Syrian fighter.
In this podcast with Newlines’ Faisal Al Yafai, he discusses how he first met the fighter in Cairo, what prompted him to tell the story, why he made certain literary decisions – and whether he thinks the fighter is a sympathetic character.
Newlines’ Idrees Ahmad, who edited Foretek’s piece, also joins the podcast to discuss the background to publishing the piece, and why this one story has the potential to change how people see the civil war, in a way years of news reports cannot.