Diana Darke writes about the latest edition of her book, My House in Damascus
Copies of My House in Damascus sold out in the run-up to Christmas and New Year, so my publishers, Haus, have taken the opportunity to produce a longer 3rd edition that has allowed me not only to update the text thoroughly throughout, but also to add two new chapters, bringing the story right up to the present.
This is important because a lot has happened inside Syria in the past year. My house was stolen from me by war profiteers – a fake general and a corrupt lawyer – so I returned, much to their astonishment, to retake it from them. The final chapters of the book now describe how I did this, what I found in Damascus society, and where the future is heading. The refugee exodus to Europe is covered, as Syria’s brain drain gathers pace and friends get caught up in it. The updated book also incorporates the latest developments on the ground with ISIS (the ‘Islamic State’), the Kurds, the destruction of Palmyra and efforts to protect cultural heritage by local citizens, the Russian military escalation through air strikes, ‘starve or surrender’ siege tactics and the ever-evolving war economy.
2016 will be an absolutely crucial year for the future of Syria. The fallout will affect us all. Through the house and through many friends both inside and outside the country, I will be watching closely, praying for an end to the nightmare and suffering of so many innocent people.