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By: Sirine Malas

Dance in the Land of Bull Killers

Pages: 166 Ratings:
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In 2011, a wave of protests hit the Arab countries that had been silently living under dictatorships. Al-Buazizi ignited a spark of opposition that swept across the entire region to reach Egypt, Libya, Yemen and Syria. The ruling regimes responded with more oppression and extreme violence, and the demands for overthrowing these regimes escalated. While reforms were introduced in some countries, other revolutions were hijacked by radical terrorist organizations, which turned the peaceful protests into horrifying conflicts, some of which are still ongoing, like in Syria.

Today, despite war, conflict and displacement, people who initiated utterly overlooked revolutions in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Chile and others continue to create, love and dream of a better future.

This is a story of how a Syrian civil society activist met an Iraqi contemporary dancer facing displacement, war, visa restrictions and global asylum restraints. Akiles and Sirine had to work very hard to maintain a relationship that was the only coping mechanism for two people who had lost their sense of security from being safe in their homelands. Their relationship sprung up in the midst of an armed conflict, and it was extremely challenging for them to stay together due to the ongoing chaos.

Sirine Malas is an artist living in Berlin. Her writing career kicked off as she focused her engagement into media reporting and editorials during the Syrian revolution. Her work was published in English and Arabic, mostly online, via IWRP and Syria News Desk—an AFP sponsored initiative, among others. She also collaborates with the DW in Berlin, related to the Syrian situation since 2015. Her literature work comprises of poetry and short stories. Sirine recently completed a six-year novel named Dance in the Land of Bull Killers, of a love story where she journals events as they take place amid revolution, war and displacement. She performed a reading of excerpts of the book as part of a cabaret number in 2018 titled Across the Middle, Past the East, Unsettled Cabaret, which continues to feature in Germany.

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