New Book: “Burning Country” – New edition, Syrians in Revolution and War

New Book: “Burning Country” – New edition, Syrians in Revolution and War
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New Book: “Burning Country” – New edition, Syrians in Revolution and War

by authors Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shami

Paperback | 20th February 2018 | 9780745337821 | 320pp | £14.99

In 2011, many Syrians took to the streets of Damascus to demand the overthrow of the government of Bashar al-Assad. Today, much of Syria has become a war zone where foreign journalists find it almost impossible to report on life in this devastated land.  

Burning Country: Syrians Revolution and War by Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shami

Burning Country: Syrians Revolution and War by Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shami

Burning Country explores the horrific and complicated reality of life in present-day Syria with unprecedented detail and sophistication, drawing on new first hand testimonies from opposition fighters, exiles lost in an archipelago of refugee camps, and courageous human rights activists among many others. These stories are expertly interwoven with a trenchant analysis of the brutalisation of the conflict and the militarisation of the uprising, of the rise of the Islamists and sectarian warfare, and the role of governments in Syria and elsewhere in exacerbating those violent processes.  

With chapters focusing on ISIS and Islamism, regional geopolitics, the new grassroots revolutionary organisations, and the worst refugee crisis since World War Two, Burning Country is a vivid and groundbreaking look at a modern-day political and humanitarian nightmare. 

Robin Yassin-Kassab is a regular media commentator on Syria and the Middle East. He is the co-author of Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War (Pluto, 2016, 2018) and author of the novelThe Road from Damascus (Penguin, 2009) and contributor to Syria Speaks (Saqi, 2014).

Leila Al-Shami has worked with the human rights movement in Syria and across in the Middle East. She is the co-author of Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War (Pluto, 2016, 2018) and a founding member of Tahrir-ICN, a network that aimed to connect anti-authoritarian struggles across the Middle East, North Africa and Europe.

‘Extraordinary … the book on Syria I was waiting for’ – Molly Crabapple

‘Gripping … Cutting through the fog of geopolitics, Burning Country refocuses the conflict with the people at its centre’ – Newsweek

‘A detailed history of Syria’s moderate opposition and a meticulous analysis of the origins of today’s violent dynamics’ – New Statesman

‘An important, honest and insightful book’ – Washington Post

Original edition shortlisted for the 2017 Rathbones Folio Prize


*This is the new edition of the book Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War, which was originally published in January 2015.  New edition contains extra-long additional chapter bringing it right up to date.

*Review copies available, 

*Authors are based in Castle Douglas, Scotland and available for interview, comment and op-eds

You can read Robin’s articles in The Guardian, ​Al Jazeera ​English​​Foreign Policy, ​​​The National​, and​ ​​The New Arab​,​ ​and ​has contributed to ​Guernica, ​the Daily Beast,​ and​ Newsweek Middle East

*Robin has been interviewed on BBC 2’s Newsnight, BBC World Service’s Newshour and BBC Radio 4’s The World Tonight and appeared in Sebastian Junger’s recent documentary Hell on Earth

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RAY HANANIA — Columnist

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

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