If you need a break from the political discussions about Syria, but still feel you’d like to know the country better, take a look at these fine books set in Syria that we have reviewed. They’ll help you understand the ancient and amazing country.
Bread of Angels, a Book of Love and Faith by Stephanie Saldaña (2011) I said “ The book is complex and interesting, and the writing is beautiful, but best of all for us as world wanderers, it paints a place in enticing detail.” Read the entire review here.
The Calligrapher’s Secret by Rafik Schami (2008) I said, “He paints the neighborhoods and describes the tribal loyalties and customs in such a way that the reader feels they have been already traveled to Damascus.” Read the entire review here.
MORE READING ABOUT SYRIA AND THE MIDDLE EAST
For an overview of the problems in the Mid-East, I highly recommend the following book:
Dining With Al Qaeda by Hugh Pope. (2010) I said, “This book educated me more deeply about more different cultures in the mid-East than anything else that I have read.” Read the review here. See my Hugh Pope interview here.
And if the current war in Syria reminds you of Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya and other mid-Eastern countries, you may want to search under Categories on the far right of this page for the specific country. You can also check the many wonderful selections at Interlink Books and Longitude Books. Don’t miss the New Atlas of the Arab World from Longitude to keep you up to date.
From Syria to AFGHANISTAN
While I’m in the Middle East–I had to do a little readjusting on a post from 2011 about the Bamiyam Buddhas of Afghanistan. The video I originally featured is no longer available. So see the new video about the Afghan treasure here.
And I shared that video because of the wonderful Freya Stark’s book about her travels in Afghanistan. The book reviewed here.