The Guards of the Air

Publishing House: Dar Al Kawkab

Publication Year: 2009

Genre: Novel

Number of Pages: 300

“The Guards of the Air,” authored by Rosa Yaseen Hasan and published in 2009 by Al-Kawkab in Beirut, is a poignant narrative that delves into the harrowing experiences of a political prisoner subjected to brutal torture under the Syrian regime. The novel, set against the backdrop of oppressive Arab regimes. It is a profound exploration of the impact of political incarceration and the incessant strain it places on personal relationships and individual dignity.

Central to the story is the protagonist, a woman who serves as a simultaneous interpreter in a foreign embassy. Her profession brings her into close contact with numerous asylum seekers. Many of whom are victims of repression in their homelands. These individuals, persecuted and tormented by authoritarian governments. Seek refuge from a system rife with threats, intimidation, and the most severe forms of torture. Where the air itself feels guarded and freedoms are severely stifled.

The narrative unfolds through the eyes of this interpreter. Offering readers a window into the lives of young Arab men. Whose existence has been scarred by violence and oppression due to their social and political affiliations. As the story progresses, the focus shifts to the disintegration of a relationship between the political prisoner and his lover. Poignantly illustrating how incarceration, separation, and the daily dread can extinguish the flames of love. Eroding the very core of human dignity.

The novel’s descriptive language draws readers into the protagonist’s world. Where the passage of time feels like a heavy cloud, a dense & dark fog that envelops her, inescapable and oppressive. Inside her confined reality, time is static, suspended, akin to being petrified in a space capsule. Cut off from the world and its ever-changing dynamics. Yet, the toll of time is unmistakably evident — her hair turns white, and she feels the burden of her forty-two years. Not just physically but also on her soul. The years may pass similarly to those outside her confined space, but their effects manifest with a cruel intensity. Painting a stark contrast between the external flow of time and its harrowing impact on those trapped within the regime’s clutches.

In “The Guards of the Air,” Rosa Yaseen Hasan crafts a powerful and evocative story that is more than just a novel. It is a resonant testament to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of overwhelming adversity. Through her nuanced storytelling, Hasan brings to the forefront the struggles of those caught in the crosshairs of political turmoil. Offering a narrative that is both deeply personal and universally relevant.

Read More About Rosa Yaseen Hassan

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