Rima Bali

Rima Bali

Rima Bali, a Syrian writer born in Aleppo in 1969, boasts a rich literary portfolio. Graduating from Aleppo University with a focus on Commerce and Economics, she delved into the tourism and hotel industry until the eruption of war in her hometown. Having witnessed the initial three years of conflict, she left Syria in 2015 and currently calls Madrid, Spain, her home.

Bali’s literary contributions include the 2016 novel “Milagro” (Between the War Mill and the Miracle of Life) and the 2018 novel “Ghady Al-Azraq,” soon to be available in Spanish as “El Girasol Azul.” Her text, “Al-Manfa” (New Arab Voices), was published in both Arabic and Danish in 2019. Notably, her 2022 novel “Sulaima’s Ring – [Khatim Sulaima]” secured a spot on the shortlist for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction “The Booker” in 2024, and her 2023 novel “Flute in the Western Takht” was released.

“Milagro,” a Spanish term for “Miracle,” unfolds against the backdrop of the Syrian revolution, spanning Aleppo, Austria, and Spain. Lamea, the protagonist, finds love as a redemptive force amidst the ravages of war, prompting her to abandon her role as a hotel manager in her homeland for a fresh start in Spain. Little does she know that destiny has a new love and an unexpected child in store.

In “Ghady Al-Azraq,” the narrative explores the aftermath of Ghady’s death, with mourners offering condolences without inquiry or accountability. Nada, after four decades of marriage, uncovers a disparity in perspectives with her husband Nabeel. The war prompts her to depart for France, where she encounters twins Eva and Marta, as well as the young Boris.

Sulaima’s Ring – [Khatim Sulaima]” navigates Sulaima’s struggle between love and duty, past affluence, and a present marked by loss and conflict. The novel poses questions about Sulaima’s heart’s compass and her ultimate decision. Will she succumb to the sands of the past, or will she embrace the West’s taut bowstring? Despite differing preferences, Sulaima, Lucas, and Shams al-Din share a love for Aleppo, the city mourning beneath ruins. Will Sulaima’s magical ring free wandering souls and restore the link between past and future?

In “Flute in the Western Takht,” the narrative revolves around Flute’s involvement in the orchestra of hatred, while Cecil works to undermine this destructive melody by exploring her family’s journey dating back to the fifteenth century. Cecil’s family tree, with roots spanning Jewish, Arab, Armenian, Turkish, and European heritage, covers the world from Syria to Lebanon, the United States, and Europe, returning to Palestine. Cecil’s journey yields a fruit representing diverse identities—with allegiance only to humanity. The novel delves into questions about terrorism, hatred, and the orchestration of estrangement resonating globally.

Books Written by Rima Bali