Silence and Syria is a collaborative project of the Silence Hub and the Oxford Network for Armenian Genocide Research. The project was created in response to the silence surrounding the war in Syria where a peaceful uprising against the Syrian regime almost eight years ago turned into a humanitarian catastrophe. With ‘Syria and Silence’ we want to reach out to the diasporic and local Syrian migrant communities living in Oxford, the UK and elsewhere, and give them a platform to express themselves with words as well as beyond words.
We will run an essay competition for young adults and create a pop-up library – Mektebe – in Blackwell Hall during Trinity term 2021 which will mirror the collection of contemporary Syrian novels in the Bodleian Libraries Oriental Collections. Mektebe will be staffed by librarians from the local Syrian Oxford Community and be accessible for the public for browsing and reading during the usual opening hours. Mektebe means literally ‘a place of learning’, and we hope that our pop-up-library becomes a place where people learn about and from each other.
By inviting writers from Syria, we further hope to introduce to the wider public four well-known Syrian writers (of three different generations), as well as, to draw attention to existing and growing collection of contemporary literary works from Syria held in the Bodleian libraries.
This series features in the following public collections: