Justin Oger’s previous book, published in 2017, “Some Enthusiasm”, was a journey through Syria and the personality of the lawyer and the inspiration for the Syrian revolution, Razan Zaitouneh, through which the author painted a picture of the Arab world in its best and worst part, as for her new book “A Kind of Miracle”, in which she painted a picture of Europe With its best and worst, through the character of Yassin Hajj Salih, the exiled Syrian intellectual in Germany.
The French newspaper “Le Monde” said that Justine Auger, who is interested in human rights, continues, through this new book, to fight forgetting about the crimes of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, through his hero, the Syrian opposition intellectual who passed through the prisons of the Assad regime; Look through his experience in exile at the values and concessions in Europe and Germany in particular.
In an interview with the author, she said that she had considered abandoning the Syria issue; But she could not, because she has a sense of scandal because of the indifference with which she met the crushing of the Syrian revolution, noting that knowing the scale of the crimes committed, shows that forgetfulness and impunity mean that the state of the world is not well.
The writer said that the story of Syria concerns her on the one hand that she is a human being and that she is European; So when I learned that Yassin Hajj Salih, an educated opponent of the Bashar al-Assad regime with all its history, settled in the city of Berlin with a well-known history, she woke up with a feeling of concern and anxiety; This led her to revive her memory and fight attempts to crush and forget, because forgetting is one of the big words in this age, and it is harmful to consequences and language. Because when a word is said, and nothing results from it, language loses its ability to change reality.
The author explained that she was alerted to this fact thanks to Razan Zaitouneh, who attended the chemical attacks on Ghouta in 2013, which is a “red line” as defined by the West. So Zaitouneh says that when she was participating in the burial of the dead in terrible fear, she was working and had an idea that there would be interference; Because she couldn’t believe those words had no consequences.
Betraying the world
When asked about the specificity of the Syrian drama, the author said that the uniqueness of Syria lies in the world’s extraordinary knowledge of the crimes committed in it, as Syrians have done an incredible job in documenting. Because the regime there robbed them of their memory for years, and thousands of Syrians have produced texts, photos and audio archives.
The writer commented, saying, “It seems to me that it is impossible to imagine anyone thinking of any form of normalization with Assad after these pictures flooded the entire world, and I mentioned the pictures of” Caesar “attributed to a military photographer who was responsible for taking pictures of the bodies that leave torture centers, and was able to Leave Syria with tens of thousands of these photos, which prove the atrocities committed by the Syrian regime.
And the author considered that this point is the subject of world betrayal, as it suddenly lost its value, all the values that the European Union is alleged to have founded on, and acquired a kind of globalism after World War II.
The author pointed out that these photos, despite what they may provoke among some of the tiredness and disgust, are the basis on which all attempts at justice in Europe are based on the principle of universal jurisdiction, as hundreds of Syrians and Europeans work to ensure that impunity does not continue, especially as justice Something to always be sought, and it is not just about the past; It has a certain idea of the future
When raising the issue of what Europe benefits from these exiled Syrians with Germany, Oger warned that the presence of hundreds of thousands of Syrians, who carried out the revolution and wanted to invent a new way of governing today in Central Europe, is interesting. Because they have a belief in different possibilities, and an imagination that Europeans no longer have.
The writer believed that the European thinker – despite the rise of the extreme right – should think, even if Syria is not at the center of his interests, about a new way to live in the world, and not leave himself surrounded by an impression, pay attention to the suffering of the other, and reject this enormous scandal of contempt for some Spirits.
In this context, the writer saw a field for comparison between Yassin Hajj Salih, the main character in her book, and the German philosopher Hannah Arendt, by conducting an internal dialogue that guarantees moral behavior, to present political work with all nobility.
Yassin built himself by reading; This gave him a very unique and free way of thinking, and although he had never trusted the concept of universality as a product of imperialism, today he believes that there is universality that must be reconstructed around the basic values that he feels are important in his body.
The newspaper pointed out that Oger’s latest book is a logical and natural continuation of the first, as in her first story she sought to revive the character of Razan Zaitouneh, the face of the Syrian revolution that was chased by the regime, and finally kidnapped by a Salafi rebel group in a “liberated” region that she took as a refuge, while in her second story she saw a kind. From a miracle, as you talk about the consequences of crushing this revolution, from the exile of the victims, the impunity of the executioners, the search for justice, and the continuation of the revolution outside the walls.
Yassin Hajj Saleh in the writer’s story is the one who establishes the connection between the two. This former self-made communist thinker, who spent 16 years in the regime’s prisons before the 2011 revolution, is the husband of Samira Khalil, a human rights activist who was kidnapped at the same time that Razan Zaitouneh and two companions were kidnapped. None of them were found, not even after the regime’s control of Ghouta in 2018, where they were kidnapped.
In a kind of miracle, this man is seeking contact with Europe and its history, for a new world, after learning about Hannah Arendt’s ideas, while other exiled Syrians like him are looking for ways to prosecute their former executioners.
It is through these – as the newspaper concludes – that Justin Auger talks about Europe, its values, our concessions and forgetting them.