By a Kind of Miracle. The Exile of Yassin al-Haj Saleh
Original title: Par une espece de miracle. L’exil de Yassin al-Haj Saleh
“a portrait of Europe, at its worst and its best.” […] “Justine Augier talks about us, our values and our renunciations” Le Monde
“An intense, complex and necessary book” L’Obs
“Par une espèce de miracle tears your heart as surely as knife” France Culture
It was through a documentary about Yassin al-Haj Saleh that Justine Augier found out about Razan Zaitouneh, to whom she devoted her previous book, De l’ardeur. Nearly five years on, she hooks up with the Syrian intellectual, who is now in exile in Berlin (and whose wife was kidnapped at the same time as Razan), as the French, Swedish and German courts, under the principle of universal jurisdiction, are gearing up to judge individuals accused of crimes against humanity committed in Syria since 2011.
In the course of a conversation that unfolds over a year, they try to come to terms with the discomfort of survival and exile, deploying the reassuring resources of their intellects to explore the points of resonance between the Syrian tragedy and European history. They desperately want to believe that justice will restore to the Syrian people the dignity that was stripped away from when their revolution was crushed, and they also determined to suggest an alternative to despair.