Beginning in 2012, the Syrian town of Daraya spent four years under siege, bombed every day and with no chance to receive outside aid. When a group searching for survivors stumbled upon a cache of books in the rubble, it inspired them to create a library where people could escape the blockade, studying Shakespeare, self-help, and Arabic poetry. Journalist Delphine Minoui befriended one of the library's founders, 23-year-old Ahmad, and came to understand the readers who gathered in the library to exchange ideas, learn English, and imagine how to shape Syria's future. By telling their stories, Minoui makes a far-off, complicated war more immediate, and in this NPR Best Book of the Year, she reveals these young men to be everyday heroes.
The Book Collectors
Author: Delphine Minoui.