Yassin al-Haj Saleh
Yassin al-Haj Saleh, a contributing writer at New Lines magazine, is a Syrian author and former political prisoner. He has written several books on Syria, prison, contemporary Islam and intellectual responsibility, including “The Impossible Revolution: Making Sense of the Syrian Tragedy” (2017) and “The Atrocious and its Representation” (English edition forthcoming). He is the husband of Samira al-Khalil, who was abducted by an armed Islamist group in Douma in December 2013. He now lives in Berlin.
Latest from Yassin al-Haj Saleh
In Syria, multiple imperial and subimperial powers have poured into one small country — some of them to protect a murderous regime, all of them annihilating any independent political aspirations among its people, dividing up sectors of Syrian society among themselves and their satellites.
In this deeply autobiographical essay, a leading Syrian intellectual recounts his early years in rural parts of the country before the rise of the Assad regime, lamenting the political and cultural vitality since lost in a society shattered by tyranny and war.
In prison, Chomsky’s writings convinced Yassin al-Haj Saleh that Syrian dissidents had partners in the world. But the American linguist has betrayed those early hopes by refusing to take seriously the reality of the Syrian revolution.