The following is an example of the small ways the Syrian government continues to drive underground the voices of reason and resistance to its authoritarian regime. I received an email yesterday from Serene Taleb-Agha, the Editor-in-Chief of Damazine; A Literary Journal of the Muslim World. Serene, who had been based in
the readers and writers of Damazine that she could no longer continue to
publish this unique journal. One of my poems, An Engagement for Burning, about
self-immolation by women in the Herat Province of Afghanistan, was published in
one of its issues: http://www.damazine.com/archives/2009_summer/an_engagement_for_burning_octavia_mcbride_ahebee.html Syria
Through Damazine, Serene presented her readers to a Muslim world that is diverse, complex and often so familiar. Keep Serene in your prayers and let's look forward to Damazine's return.
Here is her letter:
From 2008 to 2012, Damazine filled a unique niche in the world of literary journals, publishing poetry and fiction connected with the Muslim world. However, many of you may have noticed that Damazine published no new issues since last summer. Unfortunately, the time has come to inform you that Damazine will be offline starting next month.
Damazine has always been a labor of love for me, and for the four years that it was published, I shared that labor with no one else. Unfortunately, last summer, I was forced to leave
my home for the previous nine years. Over the past year, I have had to stay
with family, and then move again to another town. I am grateful for the safety
and stability I have been able to find, but the upheaval and my new situation
no longer permit me to edit and publish the journal anymore. I have come to
accept that all good things must come to an end, and to appreciate the opportunity
to publish Damazine during its short life. Damascus
Thank you to all the writers who contributed their words to our pages, and to the readers who enjoyed them.