Talk by MPF and UMAM D&R
Horror and its Representation
A Conversation with Yassin Al Haj Saleh, moderated by Ziad Majed
الفظيع وتمثيلُه

حديث مع ياسين الحاج صالح وزياد ماجد
Jun 11, 2021 @ Zoom

On Friday, June 11, the MENA Prison Forum (MPF) hosted the third installment of the MPF Talks series, featuring writer, intellectual, and former political prisoner, Yassin Al Haj Saleh in conversation with political scientist and author, Professor Ziad Majed. The discussion focused on Mr. Saleh’s latest book “Horror and its Representation: Deliberations on Syria’s Destroyed Form and its Complicated Formation,” published by the MENA Prison Forum and Dar Al Jadeed in 2020/2021.   
The session opened with comments by MPF Coordinator Mina Ibrahim, in which he articulately addressed his own personal experiences with cycles of trauma and horror in the form of targeted killings, focusing on the discovery of both Guilio Regeni and Lokman Slim on the same day, February 4, exactly five years apart. He reflected on the similarities of both murders, evoking Saleh’s assertion that those who write and those who archive, as Regeni and Slim did, never fully die.

In this light, Majed opened the session building on these sentiments, that in fact the title of the book can be applied to many countries in the Middle East undergoing periods of immense difficulty and amounting to representations of horror. Saleh’s personal experience of 16 years in Syrian prisons, his mother’s death while he was incarcerated, his brother's abduction by ISIS, his wife's abduction by another violent group in Ghouta and unknown location and condition, reverberates through his writings and accounts of horror in Syria.

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