Women Without Trace

Mohammed Abi Samra

Women Without Trace introduces us to the women scattered across the globe as a result of the protracted Lebanese war (1975-1990). Their stories intersect from the 1970s to 2015, from Beirut to Southern Lebanon, Los Angeles, Paris and Versailles. Marianne, an Armenian artist from Beirut, was a member of a cell of artists and cultural figures in the Lebanese Communist party during the war. Now aged 60, and having emigrated to Los Angeles and Versailles in the 1980s, she lives in self-imposed isolation and reflects on her life, including that of her female friend, a Communist journalist. In Paris, Marianne encounters Sara, a young Lebanese woman 30 years her junior who narrowly escaped from a suicide bombing and relates episodes from her troubled life in Damascus to Moscow and Beirut. The characters of Women Without Trace explore the effect that their roots and social identities have had on their destinies and how they have rebelled against these identities to emerge as individuals with a will of their own.  


Riyad al-Rayyes


2019 Longlist