The Guards of the Air
Rosa Yaseen Hasan
The Guards of the Air (Al-Kawkab, Beirut, 2009) tells the story of a political prisoner who suffers torture at the hands of the Syrian regime. By focusing on the breakdown of the relationship between the prisoner and his lover, the novel demonstrates how imprisonment, distance and daily anxiety can extinguish the flame of love and the dignity of the individual. The narrator, a woman who works with political asylum seekers in a foreign embassy, reflects on the sufferings of so many young Arab men who have experienced violence at the hands of Arab regimes through their social and political allegiances.