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13/12/2017 - 14:06hs
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Book portrays love and war in Syria

Brazilian journalist Patrícia Campos Mello’s non-fiction book 'Lua de Mel em Kobane' tells the story of the Syrian conflict through the eyes of a refugee couple who return to the country.



Reproduction

The 208-page book features plenty of photos

São Paulo – The war is still on as Barzan and Raushan, a Syrian refugee couple, decide to settle in the city of Kobane to get their lives back together. The Brazilian journalist Patrícia Campos Mello tells the story of war in Syria as seen through

this couple’s eyes in a non-fiction book released this December in Brazil by publisher Companhia das Letras. 

The book is entitled Lua de Mel em Kobane (Portuguese for ‘Honeymoon in Kobane’). The main characters were newlyweds by the time ISIS took their city by storm. Over the course of two years, Mello travelled to Kobane twice and conducted dozens of interviews with the couple and their family, friends and acquaintances.

When they met online, Barzan and Raushan were living as refugees respectively in Istanbul, Turkey and Rybinsk, Russia. She was a Law student before the war broke out; he is a journalist by trade.

“They met on Facebook, fell in love and decided to marry and go back to his city: Kobane, Syria. Right in the middle of their honeymoon, ISIS stormed into the city, but instead of fleeing, they decided to stay and document the siege,” Mello told ANBA. Almost 80% of the city were destroyed by attacks inflicted by the terrorist group and the USA.

Mello is a special reporter/columnist with newspaper Folha de S.Paulo. She was in Syria covering the war in 2015 as she happened upon Barzan and Raushan, who’d returned from their two-year asylum the year before – at that point, things seemed to be going back to normal in Northern Syria.

Mello set out to tell a love story in war times and to discuss the conflict through a romantic relationship. The book also deals with the rise of ISIS and the country the Kurds are trying to create for themselves in Northern Syria; it comprises 208 pages featuring plenty of photographs by Fábio Braga.

Patrícia Campos Mello

Press Release

Mello is a columnist for the Folha de São Paulo daily

The book is based on 50-plus hours’ worth of interviews made during trips to Syria in 2015 and 2016 – the second trip was taken exclusively for the purpose of interviewing people. “It was an amazing experience. I met wonderful people and I achieved a better understanding of the motivations of thousands of Syrian refugees,” Mello told ANBA.

Although she isn’t of Arab descent, Mello grew more and more interested in the region once the refugee crisis began. She has been to several Arab and Middle East countries – Syria, Iraq, Libya, Tunisia, Iran and Turkey – to cover news stories. The book is currently available only in Brazilian Portuguese, but Mello hopes it will be out in other countries as well. “It’s a universal story, and it would be really cool to have it translated,” she says.

Mello holds a degree in Journalism from the University of São Paulo (USP) and has been covering international relations, economics and human rights for 18 years now. She also holds a master’s in Business and Economic Reporting from New York University, in addition to being one of the creators of the Muros do Mundo (Walls of the World) project, which focuses on the migrant crisis. She has worked for other major media outlets and won journalism prizes. She has also published another book, Índia – Da miséria à potência (‘India, from poor to powerhouse’), by publisher Editora Planeta.

Data sheet
Title: Lua de Mel em Kobane
Author: Patrícia Campos Mello
Pages: 208
ISBN: 9788535930184
Publisher: Companhia das Letras
Price: BRL 49.90

*Translated by Gabriel Pomerancblum

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