July 5, 2012
Khaled Khalifa’s In praise of hatred is out in Spanish! – El Mundo covers the event

Khaled Khalifa’s In praise of hatred is out in Spanish! – El Mundo covers the event

“It hurts us that the world only offer words” by Rosa Meneses for El Mundo, June 26th, 2012
Photo credit: Bernardo Diaz

The arm in plaster of Syrian writer Khaled Khalifa reveals the place he comes from. A month ago, in Damascus, he was beaten by security forces of Bashar El Asad’s regime as he was taking part in the funeral of a victim of the conflict, turned into a protest against the Syrian government. “This is nothing. It is not comparable to the sacrifices Syrian citizens make every day”.

Khaled Khalifa has just published his novel In Praise of Hatered (Lumen) in Spain, a work about the life of sacrifice and suffering of four Syrian women. The book evokes one of the bloodiest episodes in the history of Syria, the massacre of Hama in 1982. He talks about death squads sweeping the streets, years in prison, deprivation, and exile … A feminin story that connects the past with the present in Syria.

“I am not giving any lessons with this book. It is just a testimony that what happened was horrible and that the Syrians were terrorized by their political regime…”.

“In the 80’s two fundamental forces opposed: the regime and a religious group,” he recalls, referring to the Muslim Brotherhood. “Today, the revolution involves all facets of society against the same regime”

The novel Khalifa took him 13 years of work. “I felt fear and terror… This probed me to turn that pain into a novel …” Khalifa is, however, a writer with no pretensions. “I write just for the pleasure of writing and cannot do anything else.”

Khalifa talks about the role of culture in the troubled Syria and says the majority of the intellectuals of his country is in favor of the revolution, although “there is always a minority that favors the regime because it has ties with the interests and power.”