Interview 27 Dec 16

Iraqi Star Writer Recalls Balkan Refugee Ordeal

Award-winning writer Hassan Blasim has personal experience of the horrors of life on the Balkan refugee route, but - on a trip back to Sofia - he tells BIRN that he has never lost hope. 

Mariya Cheresheva
BIRN
Sofia
Hassan Blasim. Photo: Manol Peykov

In 2014, Hassan Blasim became the first Arab writer to win the UK’s Independent Foreign Fiction Prize with his collection of short stories “The Iraqi Christ”.

The 42-year-old writer, poet and filmmaker from Baghdad, has broken many taboos in Arab literature with his dark, brutal and often shocking stories of war, exodus and daily life in modern Iraq.

Praised throughout Europe but often condemned back home, where he has never been published, Blasim renounces any claims that his works depict his own difficult life as a political refugee.

Blasim is a connoisseur of the Balkan route - the network of Balkan roads, paths and legal or illegal border crossings which, since the outbreak of the global refugee crisis in 2015, became one of the main pathways through which refugees escaping Africa, the Middle East or Asia have reached EU countries.

Subscribe to Balkan Insight Premium to read the full article.

Please login to your account below if you are already a Premium Subscriber.

Buy Premium Subscription

Our Premium Service gives you full access to all content published on BalkanInsight.com, including analyses, investigations, comments, interviews and more. Choose your subscription today and get unparalleled in-depth coverage of the Western Balkans.

Buy Premium Subscription

If you have trouble logging in or any other questions regarding you account, please contact us

Talk about it!

blog comments powered by Disqus

Latest News from the Balkans

27 Mar 17

Putin Wishes Vucic Luck in Serbian Election

27 Mar 17

Vatican Sends Envoy to Medjugorje in Bosnia

27 Mar 17

Kosovo Serb MPs End Boycott of Parliament

27 Mar 17

Croatian Serbs Boycott WWII Camp Commemoration

Premium Selection

justice-comes-late-for-romania-s-ageing-torturers-03-26-2017
27 Mar 17

Justice Comes Late for Romania’s Ageing Torturers

Romania has only recently started trying the former wardens of the communist-era political prisons – and some say it is too late now for justice to be done. 

turkey-s-anti-gulen-campaign-leaves-bosniaks-in-dilemma-03-24-2017
24 Mar 17

Turkey’s anti-Gulen Campaign Leaves Bosniaks in Dilemma

The failure of Bosnia’s Bosniak leaders to meet Turkish demands to close down organisations allegedly linked to Fethullah Gulen could cost them Ankara’s support.

22 Mar 17

Vanished Mural Sparks Protests in Novi Sad

22 Mar 17

Belgrade Tween Conquers World of Music