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My Country ❂ My Country kindle Epub ❆ Author Kassem Eid – Thomashillier.co.uk 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 uniue and po 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 uniue and powerfully moving testimony for our times with a foreword by Janine di GiovanniOn August Kassem Eid nearly died in a sarin gas attack in the town of Moadamiya At least 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 repairEid recalls moving to Moadamiya in 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 hopes that he would ease the state's severity were swiftly crushedThe unprecedented scope of this brave deeply felt memoir makes it uniue 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.

  • Hardcover
  • 224 pages
  • My Country
  • Kassem Eid
  • 14 November 2014
  • 9781635572841

About the Author: Kassem Eid

Kassem Eid is a Syrian media activist and public opponent of the Bashar al Assad regime.

10 thoughts on “My Country

  1. Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader Jennifer ~ TarHeelReader says:

    45 stars to the powerfully written My Country A Syrian Memoir ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️5The stories and images out of Syria have haunted me I want to know read understand 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 tolerant than his father is uickly 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 ie 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 wwwjennifertarheelreadercom

  2. Paul Paul says:

    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 tolerant than his father These were dashed fairly uickly 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 survivedThat was the day that he joined the Free Syrian Army; that was the day he first picked up a gunThis 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. Jill Dobbe Jill Dobbe says:

    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 itMy 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 humanityThank you Net Galley and Bloomsbury Publishing

  4. Stefanie Kern Stefanie Kern says:

    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 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 politicsjust to name a fewKassem 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 US 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 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 Also I don't intent to belittle what Eid has endured

  5. Mike Mike says:

    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 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. Linda Linda says:

    This is such a moving and important memoir that asks the troubling uestion if the world knows about the suffering in Syria why does it not act? Kassem Eid has experienced 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. Jenny Cooper Jenny Cooper says:

    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 readingThe 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 feelingsuspicion 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 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 stateI 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

  8. Javier Javier says:

    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 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

  9. Helēna Helēna says:

    Everyone should read this book It reminded me a lot of The Raa 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

  10. Bruce McNair Bruce McNair says:

    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 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 politicsI 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 eually 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

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