Sabriya: Damascus Bitter Sweet by Ulfat Idilbi, Translated by Peter Clark
Sabriya portrays life in Damascus in the 1920's. Central to the story is Sabriya's journey to self-knowledge, intertwined with the rise and eclipse of national and feminist awareness during her painful life. The national revolt is crushed by superior foreign power and Sabriya's personal emancipation is stifled by the traditional values of a patriarchal society. Written from the point of view of a young girl passionately committed to the nationalist cause but unable, because of her sex, to take an active part, it seethes with the frustrated energy of the reluctant bystander and vividly expresses the terror of civilians living in a city rocked nightly by explosions.