One of the best ways to better understand how events have unfolded in Syria is often to go beyond the analysis and connect to the stories being told by those witnessing events on the ground. This was especially important in the early years of the Syrian revolution.
With that said, to help you pick from the best, I’ve pulled together this list of the top 6 Syria books covering recent reporting and dispatches.
Check it out and let me know if I missed anything or have any suggestions!
Also, check out these two lists of best books on Syria:
Top 6 Syria Books: Recent Reporting and Dispatches
Note: My recommendations are based solely on my own reads, preferences and perspectives. Any purchases you make through our links may earn Syrian Memories a small commission which goes towards helping sustain this initiative.
A Woman in the Crossfire: Diaries of the Syrian Revolution by Samar Yazbek
A searing account of the first four months of the revolution documenting the many ways Syrians (and she) resisted and crossed the fear barrier. A testament to the sacrifices so many have made, including the author who was branded a traitor to her community and sect.
Syrian Dust: Reporting from the Heart of the War by Francesca Borr
A vivid and raw account of life in the divided city of Aleppo in 2012-13. This work illustrates the contrast between the hopes, expectations and romantic narratives with the ugliness, horror and exhaustion of war.
The Morning They Came For Us: Dispatches from Syria by Janine di Giovanni
Reporting from Syria in 2012, this work is grounded on the human, lived experiences of the people she connects to – activists, ordinary citizens, regime soldiers. At times embedded with FSA groups, other times with the regime army or proponents (like nuns in Maloula), she reports clearly, so audiences can come to own conclusions.
Our Women on the Ground: Essays by Arab Women Reporting from the Arab World by Zahra Hankir
Overall an important and well overdue compilation of perspectives from Women journalists that goes beyond Syria. The essays from or about Syria are powerful – Ruqia Hasan from Raqqa, Zeina Karam, Natacha Yazbeck, Nour Malas, Lina Sinjab, Hwaida Saad and Zaina Ehraim.
Enab Baladi: Citizen Chronicles of the Syrian Uprising
“This is the story of an idea called Daraya.” A collection of Enab Baladi reports from the early days of resistance to community organizing to forced displacement – this is an important record of the Syrian revolutionary experience, rooted in a town that has inspired so many of us. Free PDF can be accessed on Creative Memory.
Syrian Notebooks: Inside the Homs Uprising by Johnathan Little
A collection of firsthand accounts, vividly chronicling daily life in Homs during the early stages of the uprising and subsequent siege. It powerfully covers the resilience of ordinary Syrians in the face of unspeakable realities.
Plus two bonus recommendations that tell the story of brilliant journalists who risked it all to report from the ground and tell Syrian stories.
In Extremis: The Life and Death of the War Correspondent Marie Colvin
This book explores the life and career of the late, great Marie Colvin. It dives into her fearless dedication to reporting in some of the toughest war zones around and the personal toll that took on her – ultimately leading to her killing in Homs, Syria in 2012.
On All Fronts: The Education of a Journalist by Clarissa Ward
This memoir covers her personal journey to becoming to becoming one of the top war correspondents worldwide. Her reporting from Syria is impactful, courageous and compassionate catapulting readers into the Syria’s chaos.