02/03/2017 - Christophe Ayad - Le Monde
Our world has abandoned Syria and its people to unimaginable horror. For such indifference to have become possible we have had to blind ourselves to everything in the history of Syria that finds an echo in our memory. But whether we like it or not, Damascus is holding its mirror up to our face.
In this perceptive, inspired work, Jean-Pierre Filiu revisits the past of this devastated country. The descent into Hell of Syria and its people is appallingly modern, for today’s torturers, whether they be jihadists or pro-Assad, invoke a glorious past only in the light of their totalitarian project.
Jean-Pierre Filiu is a university professor of contemporary Middle Eastern history at Sciences Po (Institute of social and political science), Paris, after teaching at Columbia (New York) and Georgetown (Washington). His work on the Arab-Muslim world has been published in 15 languages. He is the author of Les Arabes, leur destin et le nôtre (The Arabs, their future and ours), Editions La Découverte, which was awarded the Augustin-Thierry prize at the Rendez-vous de l’Histoire de Blois in 2015.