Syrian Novelist Khaled Khalifa: ‘I Have Always Wondered About the Ability of Some Writers To Remain Silent’

Arabic Literature (in English)

Syrian novelist Khaled Khalifa — twice shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, winner of the Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature — has been one of the few prominent Syrian writers who has refused to permanently leave the country. As he told ArabLit’s Rachael Daum in this interview, “I am willing to continue living in danger as I already did for over four years, but I could never bear to lose it.”  

Rachael Daum: I’ll dive right in: You have said that “silence is shameful.” Would you expand on that a bit? Do you think that there is writing, too, that is shameful?

Khalifa, currently in Italy, pictured with Editoriaraba journalist, scholar, and blogger Chiara Comito. Khalifa, currently wrapping up a series of events in Italy, at center. Pictured with Editoriaraba’s Chiara Comito.

Khaled Khalifa: I have always wondered about the ability of some writers to remain silent while the body parts of their own people are strewn about: murdered or…

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