Syria: Bloggers Unite to Read

For the first time in the Syrian blogosphere, local Syrian bloggers have came up with a refreshing idea; forming an online book club in which they decide on reading a certain book, and after 10 days, each reader would offer her/his reading of the book on their personal blogs.

The book club has a website of its own, a blog, and you can see its founders on the sidebar. The blog so far contain posts of books that were read or yet to be read. The first book the club's founders decided on reading was Perfume by Patrick Süskind. Five Syrian bloggers wrote their feedback on the novel and here we're quoting two:

We start with Farah [AR]who was sympathetic with Grenouille, the protagonist, and thought that the author, Suskind, was harsh on him:

كان غرنوي يعيد الجثة بعد حفظ رائحتها، فهو يرى البشر لا يهتمون لما أخذه، هم فقط يهتمون لجسد الفتاة وشكلها، لا شيئ غيره، هذا ما يبهرهم، وجودها فقط، ولا يهتمون بالرائحة التي أخذها، لم يعتبر يوماً أن ما فعله كان خاطئاً فهو أخذ ما يحتاجه وترك لهم ما يحبونه

Grenouille used to turn back the body once he memorize its smell. He can see that people don't care about what he takes from a body; its smell. They care for the girl's body and looks, that's what dazzles them about her, her existence, not the smell. He never thought that what he's doing is wrong. He took what he needed and left them what they needed, her body.”

Second, we have Fattousha [AR] who tells us that the protagonist has no smell of his own, and when he wore a perfume in order to have one, people started to recognize him and respect him. Here, Fatousha comments:

هل من المعقول ” أن تكون حقيقياً” مرعب إلى هذا الحدّ، وهل علينا لكي نكون مقبولين اجتماعياً أن نكذب

Is it so scary for one to be true to himself? And must we in order to be socially accepted, turn into liars?”

The new book to be reviewed this week is the novel AL ORJUHAH by the Syrian playwright, poet and novelist, Muhammad AL Maghout. Al Maghout is one of leading playwrights in Syria and some of his plays were influential in forming the Syrian consciousness in the early 80s.

Finally, Alloush, [AR] a member of Arabic Lingua project, posted a detailed roundup of these five posts on his blog. He said that the idea was taken from Global Voices and might be used as well in the newly formed Syrian blog aggregator, ALMUDAWEN.


  • Alloush - علوش

    Thanks Razan for the post :) , it’s wonderful to see this action in our blogsphere, I’m so excited about the Idea and I really wish that Almudawen gives his members a boost to participate in more developed Ideas, such as “Syrian blogging action day”.

  • “The new book to be reviewed this week is the novel ALMARJUHAH by the Syrian playwright…”

    the book’s name should be AL-ORJUHAH..

    dont publish this comment, just double check with razan and make the correction ;)

  • Thank YOU Alloush :)
    i really liked that roundup post of yours, and looking forward to reading more of the like.
    in fact, i am going to present my reading to al MARJUHAH as well next week, i love Muhammad Al Maghut, he’s one of my favorite authors.
    all the best to the book club founders.

  • […] 13, 2008 by FW: Magazine Syrian blogger Razan Ghazzawi – whose personal blog goes with the title “Razanisms” – made it possible for us to […]

  • Thanks Anas, name of the novel fixed!

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