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The pianist from Syria : a memoir

Call Number

  • 921 A2861 (CEN)


First Atria Books hardcover edition.


Translated from the German.

Publication Information

New York : Atria Books, 2019.


"Originally published in Germany in 2017 by S. Fischere Verlag as Und die Vögel werden singen"--Title page verso.

"An astonishing yet true account of a pianist's life in war-torn Syria and his ultimate escape to Germany offers a deeply personal perspective on the most devastating refugee crisis of this century. Aeham Ahmad was born a second-generation refugee--the son of a blind violinist and carpenter who recognized Aeham's talent and taught him how to play piano and love music from an early age. When his grandparents and father were forced to flee Israel and seek refuge from the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in 1948, Aeham's family built a life in Yarmouk, an unofficial refugee camp to more than 160,000 Palestinians in Damascus. While waiting for the conflict to be resolved so that they could return to their homeland, they raised a new generation in Syria. But another fight overtook their asylum. Their only havens were in music and each other. In his escape from Syria, Aeham sought out a safe place for him and his family to call home and build a better future. Heart-wrenching though full of hope, and told in a raw and poignant voice, The Pianist from Syria is a gripping portrait of one man's search for a peaceful life and of a country being torn apart as the world watches in horror."--Dust jacket.

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