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Digital Subscriptions > Prospect Magazine > Oct-18 > With love and fury

With love and fury

Syrians are responding to the destruction of their country resiliently—and with desperate black humour, finds Robin Yassin-Kassab

The Home That Was Our Country: A Memoir of Syria

by Alia Malek (Nation Books, £13.99)

No Turning Back: Life, Loss and Hope in Wartime Syria

by Rania Abouzeid (Oneworld, £18.99)

“Syrians. I hated the deceptive simplicity of that word. We were 23 million people. Soldiers and fighters. Revolutionaries and counter-revolutionaries. The torturer and the victim. How could one word encompass us all?”

—Marwan Hisham

Escorted by Russian bombers and Iranian militia, Bashar al-Assad’s regime has regained control of key parts of the Syrian heartland in recent months. In its wake come deportations, mass arrests, torture and field executions. Secure in its impunity, the regime has begun issuing death certificates for the tens of thousands murdered in detention since 2011. Against this backdrop, Vladimir Putin has called for the regime’s “normalisation”, and in the runup to the Helsinki summit in July, it seems that he won Donald Trump and Benjamin Netanyahu’s acquiescence.

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About Prospect Magazine

In Prospect’s October issue: Rafael Behr argues that politics has been poisoned by Twitter—the platform often drives the political news agenda, encourages people to descend deeper and deeper into echo chambers and sees MPs and their families regularly abused. Meanwhile, former Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger explains how Oxford picks its students and says that more needs to be done for the colleges to be more inclusive. Also, Jasmin Mujanovic outlines how Bosnia’s elections this month could tip the country back into conflict. Elsewhere in the issue: Alex Dean highlights the alarming decline in the number of students studying a foreign language at GCSE and beyond. Will Self reviews a series of new books about liberalism, arguing that “we need more than just social freedoms and the free market.” Aimee Cliff charts the story of the dying dream that London would be a 24-hour city.