Tragic Contradictions and Strife in Syria

As many of you are aware, 21 years ago I started a book publishing company named Cune Press (from “cuneiform”). Since then, with the help of dedicated volunteers, we have published a range of titles, many of which are nonfiction on Syria and the Levant. Mamoun Sakkal, the calligrapher and designer originally from Aleppo, has contributed original calligraphic designs for many of our covers. Others who are still based in Syria helped us to research and proofread our books. The political cartoonist Ali Farzat and the historian Sami Moubayed, both from Damascus, contributed original book length work.

I am writing now because the Syria that I know and love is in trouble.

A friend from Aleppo who is now outside the country was able to telephone home after 18 days of no phone service. Then he called me in Seattle. He was frantic and screaming over the phone: artillery, rockets, and aerial bombs have destroyed multiple Aleppo neighborhoods, have damaged the Aleppo Citadel and the historic Old City of Aleppo which are part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site , and are now landing in the irreplaceable Jdaideh section of the Old City, where several Ottoman courtyard homes had been destroyed. In recent regime counter attacks, hundreds have been killed . . . with many bodies left in the streets, apparent victims of summary execution.

A Syrian engineer whom I know, normally a reticent man, gave me this message to share with the world: “The houses and villages of Syria are being destroyed. The grandparents and parents are being killed. The children are killed beside their parents or are left screaming for their dead mothers. The land and the structures and the historical monuments are now rubble. And, while Syria bleeds, the US and the rest of the world does nothing.”

On behalf of Cune Press and all our volunteers and friends in the US and abroad, I’d like to urge you to write your Congressmen, to write the White House, to write the State Department. The Salaam Cultural Museum, our sponsor, is collecting funds for refugees. Rita Zwaideh is traveling into Syria to distribute humanitarian relief to areas that are normally missed. Please, do something. Now.


Scott C. Davis,
Cune Press