Ulfat Idilbi was an important novelist and feminist born in Damascus, Syria.
Try this: Sabriya: Damascus Bitter Sweet by Ulfat Idilbi.
Overview of Sabriya: Damascus Bitter Sweet from amazon.com:
Sabriya portrays life in Damascus in the 1920’s. Central to the story is Sabriya’s journey to self-knowledge, intertwined with the rise and eclipse of national and feminist awareness during her painful life. The national revolt is crushed by superior foreign power and Sabriya’s personal emancipation is stifled by the traditional values of a patriarchal society.
Written from the point of view of a young girl passionately committed to the nationalist cause but unable, because of her sex, to take an active part, it seethes with the frustrated energy of the reluctant bystander and vividly expresses the terror of civilians living in a city rocked nightly by explosions.
Samar Yazbek is a writer of many genres (news, film, television, pop culture criticism, short stories, and novels). She was born in Jableh, Syria, and has fled from ISIS occupiers and the Assad regime to live in exile in France.
Try this: The Crossing: My Journey to the Shattered Heart of Syria by Samar Yazbek
Overview of The Crossing: My Journey to the Shattered Heart of Syria from barnesandnoble.com:
Samar Yazbek was well known in her native Syria as a writer and a journalist but, in 2011, she fell foul of the Assad regime and was forced to flee.
Since then, determined to bear witness to the suffering of her people, she bravely revisited her homeland by squeezing through a hole in the fence on the Turkish border. In The Crossing, she testifies to the appalling reality that is Syria today. From the first innocent demonstrations for democracy, through the beginnings of the Free Syrian Army, to the arrival of ISIS, she offers remarkable snapshots of soldiers, children, ordinary men and women simply trying to stay alive…Some of these stories are of hardship and brutality that is hard to bear, but she also gives testimony to touches of humanity along the way: how people live under the gaze of a sniper…how principled young men try to resist orders from their military superiors…how children cope in the bunkers…
Yazbek’s portraits of life in Syria are very real, her prose is luminous. The Crossing is undoubtedly both an important historical document and a work of literature.
Maha Hassan is a Syrian-Kurdish journalist and novelist whose works are banned in Syria. She was born in Aleppo.
Try this: Female Voices by Maha Hassan
Overview of Female Voices via amazon.com:
Female Voices is a metafictional novel told through two intertwining stories: the first is the inner monologue of an author writing a novel; the second is the story of the characters she is creating. As both narratives unfold, imagination and reality merge, showing how writing can both liberate and reveal.