The Boy from Aleppo who painted the war by Sumia Sukkar
British fiction (based in Syria )
Source Review copy
Well when I got an E Mail from Maddy who I have met a couple of times saying that the poetry Publisher Eyewear publishing was to publish its first fiction novel I couldn’t say no when I read the blurb on Sumia debut novel .Sumia is a young 21-year-old writer of Syrian – Algerian ancestry ,she grew up in London .
Mama died when I was 11.I miss her .She always told me I should be good and go to university to show people my paintings .I can’t wait to go to university .My classmates say I belong to the special needs class and not university .They are stupid and wrong , says Yasmine .I don’t like meeting new people , so I won’t speak to anyone in class at university .
This passage captures Adams world view so well I feel .
Well I’ve been hoping a novel would appear from the Syrian conflict and this is the first I have come across I know a few have been written in Arabic ,but haven’t yet been translated .The Syrian conflict was all over the British news as it started but has faded away from the headlines ,which is a crying shame as people are still suffering .Through this novel you get an account of the war for the every man of Syria .The novel focus on a family in Aleppo which as many of us that followed the horrors of the conflict was one of the main places hit by the Regime .The family is three brothers one of which is Adam ,he has Aspergers syndrome and it is his story there is also his Older sister Yasmine who is devoted to her younger brother .So as the war rages around them we see the family struggle to eat and get on with every day life ,the neighbours disappear and Adam takes in their cat .Adam seems the war through his Aspergers a detached view free of emotion so we as the reader have to paint the world he sees into its full horror .But he does paint the war and he use colours to show how it affects him and his feelings rather like Synesthesia we see the changes each chapter heading is related to paints and painting .WE see the family try to keep together and the love between a brother and sister ,the lengths she would go to keep her brother safe .
“What’s wrong ?”
“Where’s … where’s …”
“She’ll be back soon ,just don’t think about it ”
“Khaled I miss Yasmine ”
Adam miss Yasmine when she is taken by a group of soldiers .
This novel captures the Syrian conflict so well ,we see the chaos at times ,But also the despair it can cause a family .As Adam views the war he says nothing wrong boys are on the street ,not knowing they are involved in the fighting .Adam view of the world is like a play with the direction for the actors on how to feel and act out the scenes removed ,we see the world not through a vision of this side or the other or love or hate or pain or grief no Adam looks at the world like it is a film or a news report thus we as the read through what isn’t said what is in-between the words written ,we see the true horrors of the war .Syria need to be in the foreground so we can help the people like Adam and Yasmine .
Have you read a book based in Syria ?