A poetic portrayal of the Syrian conflict that brings forth lived experiences of pain, beauty, love and loss.
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?
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.
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 .
To privately contact the author: email@example.com
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.
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/
Risks and challenges
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
- (28 days)