Al Samt Wal Sakhab PDF ☆ Al Samt ePUB ✓

Al Samt Wal Sakhab Available in English for the first time The Silence and the Roar is a funny sexy dystopian novel about the struggle of an individual over tyranny    The Silence and the Roar follows a day in the life of Fathi Sheen an author banned from publishing because he refuses to write propaganda for the ruling government The entire populace has mobilized to celebrate the twenty year anniversary of the reigning despot in this unnamed Middle eastern country The heat is oppressive and loudspeakers blare as an endless parade takes over the streets Desperate to get away from the noise and the zombie like masses Fathi leaves his house to visit his mother and his girlfriend but en route stops to help a student who is being beaten by the police Fathi’s iD papers are confiscated and he is told to report to the police station before night falls   When Fathi turns himself in he is led from one department to another in an ever widening bureaucratic labyrinth His only weapon against the irrationality of the government employees is his sense of irony Tinged with a Kafkaesue sense of the absurd The Silence and the Roar explores what it means to be truly free in mind and body


10 thoughts on “Al Samt Wal Sakhab

  1. Jim Fonseca Jim Fonseca says:

    A 1984 ish political allegory by a Syrian author We’re in a dystopian society in the Middle East where The Leader always capitalized has created a society that not only worships him but exists to worship him His picture and uotations from his speeches and poetry are everywhere Government offices are literally wall papered with his photos “Any hint of individuality is a threat directed at the Leader’s supremacy” Periodic parades with reuired participation by all males are constant During these well organized demonstrations the speeches by the Leader or those praising his brilliance are broadcast throughout the city full blast over speakers Those not in attendance are reuired to view the speech on television with the volume turned up full blast Because of the heat everyone has their windows open so you can’t escape the ROAR of the title The Leader and the ruling elite spend all their time watching re runs of the parades and his speeches No one can leave their house or enter any building without an ID card Police goons are everywhere Our main character is a 31 year old man who used to be a columnist and a writer of novels with a political bent poking fun at those in power He can write no because of the complete control of the society by the Leader All his former works are banned He lives off his wealthy mother’s money Yet the writer had been well known and the political leadership is not happy with his being silent They want him now to write slogans and speeches for the establishment His father has died but his mother is shortly to marry a high official in the government a friend of the Leader The author’s woman friend helps him see how this is all a set up to force him to comply with their wishes His mother is actually under threat of personal violence What is he to do?I liked this story It’s short and frightening The constant tumult created by the regime comes across as well as the constant heat No one appears to have air conditioning just fans He intervenes with the police beating someone up and gets his ID confiscated He has to walk his way through a byzantine bureaucracy with goons and threats to try to get it back His friend tells him don’t sass them back just do what they say but of course he can’t do that Is this going to end well for anyone?We also get a bit of hot sex with his woman friend And some philosophy about leadership – how Alexander the Great expected worship in the East but was not silly enough to expect that in Greece – although worshiping emperors eventually came about in Rome We read the thoughts of Hannah Arendt about how the masses need a leader but vice versa too In addition to three novels the author 1950 has written scripts for TV series The Silk Market and about Kahil Gibran This book was banned in Syria and the author eventually fled Syria to live in Berlin Photo of a street demonstration in Yemen from telegraphcoukImage from gstaticcom The author from enantarade


  2. Rebecca Rebecca says:

    A sobering allegory about the place of the individual artist in a repressive regime drawing on the literary traditions of surrealism and absurdism The entire novel takes place within 24 hours — one stiflingly hot Sunday Our irascible narrator is Fathi Sheen a writer who was fired when he refused to shoehorn party publicity into his television programming Cooped up in his apartment he complains of the heat the light and especially the noise There is a pro government march happening outside and the propaganda in praise of the Leader has reached a deafening roar The title reflects the dissonance between this roar of the masses and the contemplative silence of the thinker Is it even possible to be an intellectual under authoritarian rule when “Any hint of individuality is a threat directed at the Leader’s supremacy?”Sirees has been in exile in Egypt since 2012; his book originally published in Arabic in 2004 was banned in his native Syria and has only recently been translatedFull review in Winter 2014 issue of Wasafiri literary magazine


  3. jeremy jeremy says:

    published in its original arabic some seven years before the syrian civil war began in 2011 the silence and the roar al samt wal sakhab is the first work of the exiled aleppo born novelist and screenwriter to appear in english nihad sirees left syria in january of 2012 after being watched and followed by syrian security services acclaimed for his novels particularly the north winds as well as for his television series the silk market sirees had previously incurred the wrath of government censorspresaging much of the unrest that would come to and continues to garner international attention the silence and the roar is the satirical tale of a youngish author fathi standing in opposition to the government forces of an unnamed country considered to be sirees's syrian homeland as the city descends into state sponsored celebration of its despotic leader with a capital 'L' a compassionate gesture on fathi's part leads him into a bureaucratic nightmare not unlike something out of a kafka story though far funnier when his own family gets entangled into the ruling party's plans fathi must decide for himself how willing he is to forgo his combativeness and toe the line the roar produced by the chants and the megaphones eliminates thought thought is retribution a crime treason against the leader and insofar as calm and tranuility can incite a person to think it is essential to drag out the masses to these roaring marches every once in a while to brainwash them and keep them from committing the crime of thought while perhaps not as arresting as similar tales from exiled writers the silence and the roar is nonetheless an excellent work that offers rather than a mere litany of incomprehensible abuses and affronts an absorbing story about one man's courage and dignity in the face of overwhelming injustice and nefarious governmental plotting as captivating and well paced as the plot is however siree's novel would have likely benefited from an additional 50 or 100 pages especially with so fantastically conceived a protagonist as fathi funny poignant though never heavy handed the silence and the roar isn't so much about speaking truth to power as it is having the audacity to undermine said power's own inherent absurdity and impotencefrom the author's afterword i believe that love and peace are the right way to confront tyranny thus i wrote this novel about the dictator whose opponents cannot find any other way to stand up to him but through love and laughter it is with love that the hero of the story acuires the strength to stand up and confront silence; with laughter that he tears off the frightening halo with which the dictator has surrounded himself and then dares to confront his minionsthere is another kind of roar that this author never thought the leader would ever be capable of using the roar of artillery tanks and fighter jets that have already opened fire on syrian cities the leader is leveling cities and using lethal force against his own people in order to hold on to power we must ask alongside the characters in this novel what kind of surrealism is this?as i present my novel to the english reader my heart is agonizingly heavy about what is happening in syria my homelandtranslated from the arabic by max weiss


  4. David David says:

    I am silent after reading this book Nihad Sirees wrote an afterword in 2012 decrying the violence that had broken out in his native Syria He himself went into exile the same year “There is another kind of roar that this author never thought would ever be capable of using the roar of artillery tanks and fighter jets that have already opened fire on Syrian cities”That was eight years ago I am stunned into silence“In countries ruled by people obsessed with supremacy authoritarians and those who are crazed by power the ruler or the leader imposes silence upon all those who dare to think outside the prevailing norm Silence can be the muffling of one’s voice or the banning of one’s publication”The silence and the roar Does one cancel out the other? Can they coexist in a futile war of words? Lack of words? Making sense of the roar? Making sense of the silence? What can we do? Laugh Crack some jokes Stand your ground Be silent Maybe?I think the scariest part of this book are the rallies the leader who is constantly giving speeches and then watching the rallies His vanity is fueled by his own lust for vanity Gosh does this remind me of a certain leaders today? And the people lap it all up The propaganda twists reality It becomes surreal as Fathi the main character utters The underlying message is scary I am scared Silent


  5. Camila Camila says:

    This largely plotless parable esue little novel is worth reading it's an effective evocation of a world that sounds like a dystopian satire until you set it alongside dispatches from Syria when it suddenly starts to seem brightly optimistic than reality But while the narrator's voice is compelling and the sense of stifling heat noise and bureaucracy shines through it's unsatisfying as a novel full of stagnant sketched out characters and unresolved plot points


  6. B. Asma B. Asma says:

    Liked the story Through narrative the writer disguises characters' fear of retribution for individual thinking and for not joining mass rallies out in support for the unnamed Leader Another disguise of fear is the main character Fathi's laughter and love along with his mother Ratiba's and his lover Lama's The grandiosity of the political regime in the omnipresence of the Leader's portraits of his speeches and of the military march music on buildings and television seems exaggerated; and Fathi's laughable response to the theatrical like security officials does also In fact Fathi and a disgruntled comrade describe the pervasiveness of the regime and the effects of its dictates as Surrealism Possible discussion uestions about this story What is meant by the Silence? by the Roar? Do writers and intellectuals provide guidance in a totalitarian society? How do love and laughter help Fathi and his family and lover ease the stress of tyranny? Which choice at the end of the novel would you advise to Fathi? In summary the constant presence of tyranny and fear is disguised by the loudly enthusiastic masses by the examples of random irreverence and the hidden extremes of punishment and by Fathi's precarious safety net as a needed propagandist Therefore the surreal narrative stays light above the hinted menace


  7. Kirsty Kirsty says:

    As with many of the reviews which I am writing of late I chose to include Nihad Sirees' The Silence and the Roar on my Around the World in 80 Books challenge list The novel which is written by an exiled Syrian author is set in an unnamed dictatorship which resembles that of Syria The lovely as ever Pushkin Press edition which I purchased has been translated from its original Arabic by Max WeissThe Independent on Sunday declares The Silence and the Roar 'Profound and topical a chilling portrait of a people whose lives are dominated by fear' The novella's central character is Fathi Sheen a writer 'who is no longer permitted to write' In its opening couple of chapters he decides to pass against the mandatory participants of parades for the unnamed dictator which are taking place all over the city on this particular Sunday Of these he observes 'Looking down at the corner where the two streets intersect I saw a remarkable scene Both streets were packed with crowds that undulated and surged as hundreds of pictures of the Leader fluttered over the heads of the masses like waves on the sea' Upon leaving his flat he plans to visit first his mother and then his girlfriend Lama Such an act and his lack of participation in the parade marks him out as 'an individual so a traitor'Fathi is troubled; many issues which he faces stem from his place as almost a pariah in society unable to work at the craft which he loves His days begin to lose shape and he alters greatly due to the conditions which he is forced to live with 'In the bathroom I took stock of what I did yesterday For some time I have been suffering from unhappiness and self loathing because I don't actually do much of anything Yesterday was like the day before and like the day before that and like any day months earlier I don't do anything any I don't write I don't read I don't even think' The Silence and the Roar is a diurnal novella which takes place on one single stifling Sunday Sirees' descriptions of the city and its heat are sensuous and one can almost feel the searing of their skin as they are taken around the city by Fathi His narrative voice is measured and intelligent and gives us potted histories of other characters whom he comes across as the book goes on On the whole however despite some wonderfully vivid descriptions the prose was a little too matter of fact for my particular tasteThe blurb states that ' The Silence and the Roar is a personal urgent funny and aggrieved novel It asks what it means to have a conscience or to laugh or to endure in a time of the violence strangeness and roar of tyranny' Whilst some very current issues are explored here the lack of distinct setting did feel a little distancing I respect what Sirees was trying to do here in demonstrating that such dictatorships can occur all over the world but I do feel as though it made the whole feel rather impersonal The fictional aspect of it made it lose some of the horror and tension which I believe it would have had had it been directly about SyriaSirees also shows how little has really changed in those parts of the world which are forced to live under such conditions originally published as it was in 2004 The Silence and the Roar was written several years before the Syrian conflict began but there are many echoes of the destruction and fear to come within its pages As a social document it is both important and fascinating Regardless The Silence and the Roar did not uite have the impact which I was expecting


  8. Parrish Lantern Parrish Lantern says:

    In the afterword of this book Nihad Sirees asks “Is it possible for the silence and the roar to co exist?” Going on to state that The answer is most certainly yes that in countries ruled by people obsessed with supremacy authoritarians and those who are crazed by power the ruler or leader imposes silence upon all those who dare to think outside the prevailing norm Silence can be the muffling of one’s voice or the banning of one’s publication or it can be the silence of a prison cell or the grave The roar afflicts Fathi the protagonist of this book from the moment he wakes and follows him throughout his day it is in the voice of the hordes chanting their support in some spontaneously orchestrated marches celebrating the leader it’s the leader or his underlings calling from the Television and the Radio and the TV crews filming it all for the leader to watch at his pleasure It’s in the casting aside of classical Arabic music and replacing it with martial sounds It is also in the stomp of the boot as it comes crashing down upon some individual deemed a traitor for not marchingSilence can also be wisdom when all talk is praise for the Leader as Fathi’s girlfriend says as he lays in her arms relishing the uiet sanctuary of their loveThe Silence and the Roar follows Fathi a writer no longer allowed to write as he makes his way across town to visit his girlfriend and his mother on the twentieth anniversary of some undisclosed leader Along the way he meets various characters all trying to make sense of the chaos Fathi although silenced still seems to command respect and this doesn’t sit well with the leader or his croniesIt seems that Fathi’s own silence is not enough the government wants They want total acuiescence they want his unconditional and public approval and are uite happy to use any means or anyone to get itAt one point Fathi describes all that is going on in his country as surrealist but you uickly realise that farce is just as accurate a description of the world contained within the pages of this book Somehow Nihad Sirees has taken all the horror anger injustice and sheer terror of a brutal regime and created this slight slender novel that is funny in fact totally hilarious although the anger is still there still burningIt says on the back cover that “ The Silence and the Roar is a personal urgent funny and aggrieved novel It asks what it means to have a conscience or to laugh or to endure in a time of violence strangeness and roar of tyranny This is a true statement and one that the writer is constantly seeking to answer in the afterword in the last passage Nihad states that“There is another kind of roar that this author never thought the leader would ever be capable of using the roar of artillery tanks and fighter jets that have already opened fire on Syrian cities The leader is levelling cities and using lethal force against his own people in order to hold on to power We must ask alongside the characters in this novel what kind of Surrealism is this?”


  9. Jalilah Jalilah says:

    This well written novel by Syrian author Nihad Sirees conveys what life is like in a country ruled an oppressive totalitarian regime His storytelling is compelling as the reader follows a day in the life of a writer who clearly has a lot in common with the author who has been banned by the government for his critical writing Sirees has written a number of plays and tv series and this is evident in his writing In fact this novel would make a good movie I wish people in the West would read books like this so they might have an idea of what people in other parts of the world live with I must add that I had this book for awhile but kept putting off reading it because I thought it would be too depressing While the subject matter is not light this novel is uite readable and even rather humorous It makes one realize and appreciate how people manage to cope with an atrocious situation


  10. Becca Becca says:

    I would have given this book a 4 or 5 star rating as the story was enthralling inportant and moving and the characters were so real and captivating however there was too much sexuality for my personal liking hence 3 stars I get that the sexuality was an important componant and and that the whole point was that Fathi was fighting the roar of a dictatorship with love but I still really didn't enjoy reading the sexual parts


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