Al-Sayr ala Qadam Waheda (Walking on One Leg), by Yassin Al-Haj Saleh, Beirut: Dar AlAdaab Publishing House. 2011. 320pp.
Syrian political activist and writer Yassin Al-Haj Saleh has just released his new book, Al-Sayr ala Qadam Waheda (Walking on One Leg), through Al-Adaab Publishing house in Beirut. The book tackles Syrian political and social contexts through 52 articles written between 2006 and 2010.
Walking on One Leg includes two articles written after the start of the Syrian revolution that attempt to uncover the social motivations of the revolution. Saleh hopes his book, released 10 months after revolution broke out last March, will offer an overall view of the social circumstances that led the Syrian to revolt. In the preface, Saleh specifically denies the claim that he predicted the revolution in his book.
It’s noteworthy that Saleh, who resides in Syria right now, had great trouble in receiving a hard copy of his book due to the harsh circumstances imposed by the Syrian regime and security forces.
Saleh divides the articles into five main lines, the first tackling the state and power; the second analysing the economic transformations that took place during the past years and its impact on the social map in Syria; the third discussing the problem of the Israeli occupation of Golan; the fourth concerning Syria’s regional location; and the fifth relating to Syrians national identity.
Yassin Al-Haj Saleh, 51, a Syrian thinker, writer and former political prisoner, spent 16 years in the Syrian regime’s prisons during the 1980s and 1990s. He is a regular contributor to various Arabic newspapers and periodicals, including a weekly column in ‘Al-Hayat’ newspaper issued from London. He published two books after he was released from prison in 1997, “Syria from the shadow: Glimpses Inside the Black Box” and “Myths of the Others: Criticizing Contemporary Islam and Criticizing its Criticism.”