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Adonis & Khalifa
Adonis & Khalifa

Syrian Poet & Novelist condemn 'savage' Homs assault

(DP-News - agencies)

Two of Syria's most prominent authors have spoken out against the military actions of the regime. Adonis has called the artillery bombardment of the city of Homs "savage" and "horrible", while novelist Khaled Khalifa said the regime was committing "genocide".


The Syrian poet, critic and artist Adonis said “I'm very sad. I wish that the regime would understand that it has to reform or renew itself and create a new government through free and fair elections.”

He added “I also wish that the opposition had not resorted to armed violence because I'm personally against violence in all its forms. I do not see any justification for its use whatsoever.”



“The world should not interfere, especially not militarily. The Western world should not use this as a pretext to fulfill its own goals in the region.” Adonis said.

"It's savage," Adonis said of the bombardment. "It's the logic of all dictatorships – any dictator would do likewise against the people."

"All Arab regimes, without exception, should fall," he said, "because these regimes incarnate despotism, oppression and obscurantism." The manner of their fall is very important, he continued. "Intervention by foreign powers, particularly military, must be avoided; it is vital that religious fundamentalists don't come to power in the aftermath.

"We must work to found a new Arab society which is secular, plural and democratic."



In turn, Syrian novelist Khaled Khalifa blamed the "world's blindness" for encouraging "the regime's attempt to eliminate the peaceful revolution in Syria", adding that he wanted to tell people "all over the world … that my people are being subjected to a genocide".

He goes on to describe a "massacre" in the town of Khalidiya, in which "hundreds of thousands of Syrians … took to the streets of their towns and villages … raising their hands in prayer and in tears".

"My people, who faced death with bare chests and songs, are being, in these very moments, subjected to a cleansing campaign," he continued. "Field hospitals are being bombed in cold blood and destroyed … phone lines are cut, and food and medicine are blocked."

He praised the "valour and courage" displayed by Syrian revolutionaries and condemned the world's "silence", which he suggested is complicit "in the murder and extermination of my people".

"I know that writing stands helpless and naked in front of the Russian guns, tanks and missiles bombing cities and civilians," he said, "but I have no wish for your silence to be an accomplice of the killings as well."



Adonis spoke to CNN & the Guardian at an exhibition of his collages and a series of literary events called "A Tribute to Adonis" at the Mosaic Rooms in London until March 30. While novelist Khaled Khalifa published Thursday an open letter from Damascus.

Khaled Khalifa is a Syrian novelist whose novel “In Praise of Hatred”, shortlisted for the International prize for Arabic Fiction in 2008, is banned in Syria. 

Khaled Khalifa is a Syrian novelist, screenwriter and poet, born 1964 in Aleppo. He wrote other novels talked about social life in his country Syria, especially during bloomed era that used to be hardly referred at as it is related to regime and Baath party.

Poet Adonis has been described as the greatest living Arab poet. He was the first Arab to win the German Goethe Prize.

Adonis, born Ali Ahmad Said Esbar, grew up in a poor village near the Syrian city of Latakia and received no formal education until he was granted a scholarship to a French lycee by the then president of Syria at the age of 13.

He was forced to leave Syria in 1956 after being imprisoned for his involvement in the opposition Syrian National Socialist Party. He moved to Beirut, Lebanon, and now lives in Paris and Beirut.

Poet Adonis and novelist Khalifa novels and works had been translated into English, French and some other languages.

Visitors Comments          Number of Comments (3)
3
Not in my city
Dean            2/25/2012 12:54:19 AM
It's laughable that people criticise the Syrian Army for dealing with machine gun and RPG armed gangs, "freedom fighters" from civilian areas. Even Che Guevara a well known revolutionary and his men stayed in remote mountainous or wooded areas so that civians were not harmed.
2
what...
denver            2/12/2012 4:39:16 PM
To talk about genocide is totally inappropriate in this case. To talk about peaceful revolution with the help of al quaeda make me laugh. He should go back to poetry and stop his propaganda.
1
Prophetic
Lynn Cee (Ms.); Silicon Valley, California            2/12/2012 2:26:54 AM
These are very moving words from Khaled Khalifa. There was an impressive candlelight vigil and demonstration for Syria, hopefully, it will cause a wave of similar protests around the world on your behalf, immediately.
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