Back from Hell
Memories from Tadmor and Other Prisons
عائــــــــــد من جهــــــــنم

ذكريات من تدمر وأخواته
By Ali Abou Dehn
© 2012 UMAM D&R

"Here is your last lodgment. Here there is no God. President Hafez Al Assad has ordered God not to enter the prison of Tadmor."

Located in a remote village in Syria, the prison of Tadmor includes dozens of stories that constitute a niche of oppression and humiliation of bodies and souls during the 1980s and 1990s. Ali Abou Dehn not only tells how he was "welcomed" by the sticks and the boots of the officers during his very first moments of detention, but also the everyday details of how he and his fellow prisoners were eating, drinking, sleeping, bleeding, healing, dreaming, hoping, despairing, laughing, crying, and screaming. To preserve their humanity and sanity, Abou Dehn shows the daily struggles of the prisoners to interact with each other as well as with non-human beings and objects. This book counts as a personal diary and a historical document that haunts and resists current authoritarian regimes in the Middle East and their incarceration policies. It is a non-fiction text that challenges the imagination of writers of fiction.   

The book was part of the Shared Suffering: Exploring the Abyss of Syrian Prisons initiative and made possible thanks to funding from the Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen (ifa).