Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Never Can I Write of Damascus

Magazine article U.S. Catholic

Never Can I Write of Damascus

Article excerpt

NEVER CAN I WRITE OF DAMASCUS.

Theresa Kubasak and Gabe Huck (Just World Books, 2016)

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News from Syria over the past several years has been anything but good: an intractable civil war and millions of families displaced, some to wash up on distant shores. It was not always so, as Theresa Kubasak and Gabe Huck remind readers in their memoir recounting their seven years in Damascus. The book features a series of portraits sketching an ancient yet contemporary civilization, the religions that have coexisted there peaceably for centuries, and the rich blend of poetry, faith, food, and hospitality that marks Syrian culture.

While Kubasak and Huck provide the lenses with their prose, they recede into the background to allow the people they meet and the land itself tell their own stories. Among the sages is the couple's first Arabic teacher, Hussein Maxos, who provides first-person accounts of life in the now-besieged city; others can be found at Deir Mar Musa, an ancient monastery reborn through the work of now-missing Italian Jesuit Paolo Dall'Oglio as a place for peace, dialogue, and prayer. …

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