Friday, June 5, 2015

Dialogue with Yassin al-Haj Saleh on Syria, Iran, ISIS and the Future of Social Justice

Yassin al-Haj Saleh is a leading Syrian intellectual and former political prisoner who participated in the Syrian Revolution from its beginning in March 2011.  Since October 2013 he has been forced into exile in Turkey where he continues to write and speak out in defense of the aspirations of that revolution. He contributes to several Arab newspapers including Al Hayat and is the author of several books in Arabic, including:  Syria in the Shadow: Glimpses Inside the Black Box (2009), Walking on One Foot (2011), a collection of 52 essays written between 2006 and 2010, Salvation O Boys: 16 Years in Syrian Prisons (2012), The Myths of the Successors:  A Critique of Contemporary Islam and a Critique of the Critique (2012).  He is the editor of Deliverance or Destruction?  Syria at a Crossroads (2014). In 2012 he was granted the Prince Claus Award as “a tribute to the Syrian people and the Syrian revolution”.  However, he was not able to collect the award, as he was living in hiding in Damascus.  Below is an interview which Frieda Afary, the producer of Iranian Progressives in Translation, conducted with him in English and via e-mail.  This interview and Afary’s Persian translation of it were originally published on May 29, 2015 by Zamaneh, a Persian-language human rights radio station and website based  in Amsterdam.  The Persian translation can be found at http://www.radiozamaneh.com/221018


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