Syria author Samar Yazbek wins PEN award for courage


Syrian author Samar Yazbek talks about her book “A Woman in the Crossfire” at Brown University.


Steve Landrigan

Exiled Syrian author and journalist Samar Yazbek, who was forced to flee her country after publishing an account of the early stages of the bloody conflict, has won a literary award from PEN for her courage.

Poet Carol Ann Duffy, who won the main PEN/Pinter literary prize in July, named Yazbek the “international writer of courage” at the British Library on Monday night, CBC News reported.

The PEN/Pinter literary prize is awarded every year to a British writer of “outstanding literary merit,” said the BBC.

The winner then chooses a recipient for the Writer Of Courage Award, which recognizes an international writer who has been “persecuted for speaking out about their beliefs.”

Yazbek was forced to flee Syria with her young daughter in July 2011 after publishing “A Woman In The Crossfire,” which is based on her diaries and stories of ordinary people involved in the uprising against the regime of President Bashar al-Assad, the Guardian reported.

More from GlobalPost: In Syria, 'We are suffocating in a sea of blood while the world stands silent,' says author Samar Yazbek

More than 20,000 have died in the 18-month civil war, while hundreds of thousands more have fled across the country’s borders, the BBC said, citing UN figures.

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