Hania A.M. Nashef deposited “Testimonies of War: Reportages by Samar Yazbek and Atef Abu Saif” in the group CLCS 20th- and 21st-Century on MLA Commons 3 months, 4 weeks ago
War diaries are often written under duress, and are attempts at documenting events as they unfold, or narrating stories of how people survive under trying circumstances. She argues that conditions of war under which authors produce their work dictate the form itself. When an author’s life is under threat, when safety is compromised, maintaining a diary evolves into the only possible option available to write about war. These journal entries bear witness to history as it unfolds. The unpredictable turn of events, fear of dying, displacements, refugeehood, forced expulsions, exile along with a feeling of responsibility towards history are elements that have contributed to an increase of published work within this genre. In this chapter, she looks at nonfiction narratives by a Syrian and a Palestinian who recorded their diaries meticulously in taxing times. Samar Yazbek is a journalist, who courageously documented the early days of the Syrian war in In the Crossfire: Syrian Revolution Diaries (2012), and later in The Crossing (2015). She also discusses Atef Abu Saif’s The Drone Eats with Me: A Gaza Diary, which details daily life, destruction and death, during the 2014 war.