A Syrian Writer's Story of War project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound
  • Off
    • العربية
    • English
$1,357 pledged of $3,000 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

By Nabeel Kallas
$1,357 pledged of $3,000 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About

A poetic portrayal of the Syrian conflict that brings forth lived experiences of pain, beauty, love and loss.

The novel's front cover.
The novel's front cover.

 

War has ripped Syria apart. Yet amidst the gunshots and rubble, the people who remain go about their daily lives. When the Jasmine Returns is a novel that follows a group of friends as they strive to maintain a sense of normality despite their growing fear and the constant danger of war. Against a backdrop of explosions and destruction, they continue to dream, hope—and even fall in love. Trapped in a conflict they cannot control, will they be able to build a hope that lasts—one that just might save them?

The Journey:

When the Jasmine Returns began as thoughts on paper, daydreams of the life I wished I had. To become a book, however, it would need to be steeped further in reality, where it could not ignore the ongoing war. In acknowledging the conflict, it became a story of the life I was running from, rather than the life I was dreaming of. If not a work of literature, this book is a work of heart. It is an invitation to you to embark with me on this journey: to travel deep inside Syria and to witness our daily struggles and our new normal. Together we will confront the conflict, come to terms with the pain inside and outside of ourselves, and discover an inner resilience.

For a lot of Behind the Scenes scoop and updates, please visit the book's Facebook page by clicking here, and the author's official Facebook page, here 

 

What people have been saying:

This book shocked me, in a good way, many times. I kept turning to my wife and saying: "I cannot believe a 16 year old wrote this.” And then I would read her a line that commented on the world with ancient wisdom. Jasmine will not only surprise you in its quality despite the author's youth. It will also deeply disturb you, precisely because it is a child’s view of the random cruelties of war.

-Mark Almand, author, Claud's Canvas   

When I first received this book, I read the entire thing in one night. I couldn’t put it down. Every page I read broke me more and more. ..."  

-Kellie McGann, American Writer .

A photo by the "I Love Damascus" statue, which was placed in the most vital square in Damascus last year.
A photo by the "I Love Damascus" statue, which was placed in the most vital square in Damascus last year.

  

To privately contact the author: nabilkallas@hotmail.com

Funding Goal:

Your support will mean, first, my ability to pay the people who have assisted me. Of course, there are millions of Syrians in need of aid, and I am not seeking mere survival as some of them are. I am close to graduating from medical school. I want to give my parents a break, and to be able to afford the exams that will allow me to apply for medical training in the United States.  

By buying the book, reading it and liking it, I want you to think of me as someone with passions and dreams which the cruel war and the ugly crisis tried to bury, but I refused to surrender. I fought back, ignored how isolated Syria became to the world, kept searching for my chance of getting my words out and finally found it, stepping one large step on the path of my dreams.  

You are welcomed to stick around for my next works (some of them are nearing to be ready) because at end of the day, my la vie en rose, is to be someone who saves lives at day- with his scalpel, and change lives at night- with his pen.

An additional heartfelt ebook:

There's another small book that I wrote, that includes a lot of pictures, poems, and stories about my life during the war. 

In it, you'll get to know Syria more. Traditions, kitchen, families, relationships, and heartbreaking "then and now"s and a lot more. You'll see how in the past several years, Syria was destroyed, and how it began to rebuild itself again. And how we were destroyed, and how we're beginning to get up on our feet again.

Acknowledgements:

I first translated the book into English in September 2015. I was lucky enough to run into an amazing writer and human being Joe Bunting, who is still beside me today, helping me, guiding me, and introducing me to writers who have, in these last two years, changed my life..

Mark Almand, just a stranger two years ago, and now a dear friend. 

David Villalva who challenged me to dig deeper in the storytelling. 

Christine Niles who guided me in the beginning of the process and mapped the road for me.

Derek Murphy, for designing the brilliant jacket of the book.

Jen Henderson, for formatting the book and taking it to the final shape. 

Kellie McGann who worked very hard with me until I got here.

Special thanks to Alice Sudlow for her hard efforts and the beautiful article: http://thewritepractice.com/nabeel-writing-change/

A design used for the Arabic version of the novel, by the brilliant Shadi Debs.
A design used for the Arabic version of the novel, by the brilliant Shadi Debs.

 

Risks and challenges

Two Years.

Two years are a lot. But it wasn't us. It was political and illegal issues that dragged the process that long. We came against several challenges, concerning logistics, money, and other things I do not want to disturb you with today. Because today we are celebrating. Celebrating a long journey, a long dream that is coming true, with you, with YOUR help.

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Make a pledge without a reward

    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    My first poem for Syria

    You'll immediately receive the first poem I wrote for Syria, along with a virtual hug

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    1 backer
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    THE DIGITAL COPY

    You'll receive the e-book bundle (.epub+.mobi) and a virtual hug.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    6 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    THE PRINTED COPY

    You'll receive a paperback printed copy, and a virtual hug.
    My book in print in your hands in December, and you sitting between Christmas decorations reading it? Well, this is the best picture I've EVER imagined.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    8 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    COMPLETE DIGITAL PACKAGE

    In addition to the e-book bundle, you get an e-book written about my life in Syria in the last few years. This ebook was described as breathtaking. Containing a lot of pictures, stories and poems.
    You'll get to know Syria more. Traditions, kitchen, families, relationships, heartbreaking "then and now"s and a lot more. You'll see how in the past several years, Syria was destroyed, and how it began to rebuild itself again. And how we were destroyed, and how we're beginning to get up on our feet again.

    Includes:
    • A digital copy of the novel
    • The special, additional ebook.
    • A virtual hug
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    A personal Skype call with the author

    We'll talk about whatever you want, it'll be a lot of fun.
    But no politics. Life is too short to talk Politics.
    We'll set the date together.

    Includes:
    • A personal Skype call with the author
    • A printed copy of the novel
    • A digital copy of the novel
    • The special, additional ebook.
    • A virtual hug
    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Only certain countries
    5 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.