Recent developments in Syria have many Americans looking for ways to help Syrians and looking for sources of information about the crisis. The war is complicated, and you won't find everything you need to know in one news article. If you're looking to become more educated on the war, take a look at these books about Syria.
There's much to learn about this topic, and I am by no means an expert on the topic. There is a lot to learn, and much of this will be entirely new information to those of us who spent their childhoods learning about history from a Western point of view.
As you read these books and seek to learn more about Syria, keep in mind that every source has its own bias. The best thing you can do is gather as much information as you can from as many different places as you can. Also keep in mind that, as the war is happening in real time, these books will not be fully updated.
With hope, the more educated we become on this tragic conflict, the better equipped we are to make decisions and fight for peace. But don't stop at reading about the crisis — do some research on ways to help Syrian children and families and ways to help Syrian refugees.
1'Burning Country: Syrians in Revolution and War' by Robin Yassin-Kassab and Leila Al-Shami
This is a good start to understanding the basics of what's been happening in Syria. Written in 2016, this book weaves first-hand testimony with Yassin-Kassab and Al-Shami's own analysis to provide a clear picture of Syria today.
2'The Crossing: My Journey to the Shattered Heart of Syria' by Samar Yazbek
This book is a heart-wrenching and necessary read. After Yazbek, a well-known Syrian journalist, was forced to flee her country in 2011, she snuck back into her homeland. This book is a searing, heartbreaking portrait of life in Syria today.
3'Black Flags: The Rise of ISIS' by Joby Warrick
The rise of ISIS is an integral part of the war in Syria, and the war in Syria played a key role in the rise of ISIS. This Pulitzer Prize-winning book dives into the origin of ISIS and how it spread across the Middle East.
4'Syria: A History of the Last Hundred Years' by John McHugo
This book gives a compact history of the country, from World War I to 2015. A read that will give you context and insight into the political forces that are so dangerous today.
5'Syria's Uprising and the Fracturing of the Levant' by Emile Hokayem
Published in 2013, this book dives deeply into the Syrian revolution and how it transformed into a civil war. This book is a few years old, so there are recent events missing from the analysis, but it still provides remarkable insight into the conflict.
6'My House in Damascus: An Inside View of the Syrian Revolution' by Diana Darke
This book provides a unique, foreign perspective on the war. Written by a British woman who was building a home in Damascus as the conflict broke out, this book offers some remarkable insight into the Assad regime, its effects on daily life, and how it compares with other governments around the globe.
7'The Struggle for Power in Syria: Politics and Society under Asad and the Ba'th Party' by Nikolaos van Dam
This book was originally written in 1973 and has been most recently updated in 2011, but it still stands as an important text for understanding the events and politics that led to Assad's regime.