Al-Sham: A Night for Syria


The Markaz in Los Angeles is participating with the Global Week 4 Syria (organized out of Beirut) that takes place across the world in April. Global Week 4 Syria is a movement for peace led by hundreds of musicians, artists, creatives, and intellectuals standing for peace and making a difference in the present and future of Syria. Through music, art, and culture, Global Week For Syria brings to life the possibility that Syria would once again take its place as a beacon of rich culture, deep history, and unwavering hope for human compassion and understanding.

We present an evening devoted to Syria, on Saturday, April 2nd, 8 pm (doors 7:30), featuring live traditional Syrian music on oud and percussion with Naser Musa, along with co-authors Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shaimi presenting their major new book, Burning Country, plus Syrian American spoken word artist Omar Offendum. This salon will build on the program we presented last October, Soup for Syria Food and Arts Festival, that raised awareness of and provided financial relief for the Syrian refugee crisis. It is supported in part by FELM's Syria Initiative.

A light dinner and soft drinks are included with this program (cover $25 in advance, $30 at the door and $20 for Markaz members). Autographed copies of Burning Country and other recent books on Syria will be available. Seating is limited, advance ticket purchase is strongly advised (as this event will sell out early) Reserve below or call 323.413.2001.

More About the Event

One Middle East observer argues Syria is the new Stalingrad. Four million Syrians are internally displaced, and millions more are living in tents or on the streets, while some, including children, are drowning on the high seas, trying to escape to safety.
In April, more than two hundred musicians, visual and performing artists, cultural activists, philosophers and other European, American and Middle Eastern intellectuals will join in the Global Week for Syria, a multidisciplinary call for peace and reconciliation in Syria.

In 2011, many Syrians took to the streets of Damascus to demand the overthrow of the government of Bashar al-Assad. Today, much of Syria has become a war zone where foreign journalists find it almost impossible to report on life in this devastated land.

Burning Country explores the horrific and complicated reality of life in present-day Syria with unprecedented detail and sophistication, drawing on new first-hand testimonies from opposition fighters, exiles lost in an archipelago of refugee camps, and courageous human rights activists among many others. These stories are expertly interwoven with a trenchant analysis of the brutalization of the conflict and the militarization of the uprising, of the rise of the Islamists and sectarian warfare, and the role of governments in Syria and elsewhere in exacerbating those violent processes. 

With chapters focusing on ISIS and Islamism, regional geopolitics, the new grassroots revolutionary organisations, and the worst refugee crisis since World War Two, Burning Country is a vivid and groundbreaking look at a modern-day political and humanitarian nightmare. 

burning-country-cover250.jpgAbout the authors: 

Robin Yassin-Kassab is a regular media commentator on Syria and the Middle East. He is the author of the novel The Road to Damascus (Hamish Hamilton, 2008) and a contributor to Syria Speaks (Saqi, 2014). He resides near London.

Leila Al-Shami has worked with the human rights movement in Syria and elsewhere in the Middle East. She was a founding member of Tahrir-ICN, a network that aimed to connect anti-authoritarian struggles across the Middle East, North Africa and Europe. 

Praise for Burning Country:

"For decades Syrians have been forbidden from telling their own stories and the story of their country, but here Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila al-Shami tell the Syrian story. Their words represent the devastated country which has denied them and their compatriots political representation. Burning Country is an indispensable book for those who wish to know the truth about Syria." —Yassin al-Haj Saleh 

"Burning Country is poised to become the definitive book not only on the continuing Syrian conflict but on the country and its society as a whole. Very few books have been written on 'the kingdom of silence' that effectively capture how we all got here while not omitting the human voice, the country's heroes and heroines — a combination that is rare but essential for understanding the conflict and its complexities. Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shami have written a must-read book even as the conflict still rages to understand what happened, why it happened and how it should end."

—Hassan Hassan, co-author of ISIS: Inside the Army of Terror (New York Times bestseller), Associate Fellow, Chatham House, London 



  • April 02, 2016 at 7:30pm – 10:30pm
  • The Markaz, 5998 W. Pico Blvd LA 90035
  • $20.00 USD
  • 27 people are going
  • Bassam Jazairi



Will you come?

$25.00 Dinner Cover ($30 at the door)
$20.00 Member Admission (active Markaz members only)

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