Dark love in Syria

Over at The Review, the mysteriously named MA Orthofer, managing editor of The Complete Review, reviews "The Dark Side of Love," by the Syrian expatriate author Rafik Shami. The book is the story of star-crossed lovers, but incorporates many other narrative strands. The author, intruding in the last chapter, explains that: “Mosaic is the form for a story like this, I thought, a story with a thousand and one pieces in it, doing justice to life in Arabia with all its flaws. And like a mosaic, the further from the observer the picture appears, the smoother and more harmonious it will be.” Sounds good, although where is Arabia exactly?


Ursula Lindsey

Ursula Lindsey is the managing editor of the Arabist blog. She writes about culture, education and politics in the Arab world. She lived in Cairo from 2002 to 2013 and got her start at the ground-breaking independent magazine Cairo Times. She was the culture editor of Cairo magazine in 2005-2006 and served as special projects editor at the independent news site Mada Masr in 2013-2014. She is the Chronicle of Higher Education's Middle East correspondent. She contributes to the BBC-PRI radio program The World, and has written for Newsweek, The New York Times, The New Yorker online, Bookforum and the blog of the London Review of Books.