My House in Damascus illuminates the darker recesses not just of Syria’s history and politics, but also its society and secrets.Written from the unique perspective of an Arabic-speaking British woman. Diana Darke became deeply embedded in all levels of Syrian society when she bought and restored a house in Damascus. In September 2012, as fighting intensified, she offered her house as a sanctuary to Syrian friends, up to forty people continue to find refuge there today. By following her experiences and struggles with the realities of life on the ground from the 1970s till the present day, the book provides an eye opening account of why Syria remains locked in conflict.
This event accompanies Imagined Futures, the first UK solo show by internationally exhibited Syrian-Armenian artist Hrair Sarkissian, and aims to shed further light on issues raised by the works in the show.
Diana Darke is an independent author and occasional broadcaster whose work has been published by the BBC, The Guardian, The Financial Times and The Sunday Times. After graduating in Arabic from Oxford, she went on to specialise in the Middle East and Turkey, living and working in a range of Arab countries. She began her career at GCHQ, then enjoyed spells with various British government departments and commercial companies before turning to full-time writing. Her detailed travel guides to the region are recognized as the leaders in their field. She regards her newest book My House in Damascus: An Inside View of the Syrian Revolution as her life’s work, the distillation of her 30 years’ experience of the Arab world.
Zahed Taj-Eddin is an archaeologist, conservator and sculptor; he was born in Syria, presently lives and works in London. He studied applied chemistry, fine arts and ceramics in Syria and Germany; in 2006 he obtained a Masters Degree in Artefact Studies from the Institute of Archaeology at University College London and since then he is an honorary research associate at the institute of Archaeology. He recently completed his PhD on Egyptian faience at the University of Westminster.