How to Write a War: the Story of a Narrative Journalist from Syria

On Sun 13 March 2022, and as part of Celebrating Syria Festival, we hosted a panel discussion on How to Write a War: The Story of a Narrative Journalist from Syria. This event was in collaboration with AlJumhuriya Collective to discuss the work of Mona Rafea, pseudonym, a rare and critical voice that has been telling stories, from inside Homs, of those who have stayed in the city.

In this event, we celebrated the work of Rafea by inviting five Syrians living in different countries (e.g. UK, Norway and Germany) to read and engage with it.

The readings was followed by a discussion between Ammar Azzouz and Yaaser Al Zaiat, a London-based editor at

This event is part of the 5th Celebrating Syria: a Festival of Arts and Culture. For the full festival programme, please visit

Building on 4 years of success, culminating in an entirely virtual festival in December 2020, Rethink Rebuild Society persists with its creative mission, showcasing the talent and creativity of Syrian artists in the UK and presenting a truly bright image of Syria and its culture and heritage, an image that has long been neglected amidst the war and the refugee crisis.

The theme of this year’s festival is ‘Distance’, a title that is ‘inspired’ by social distancing measures imposed on us all as a result of the COVID-19, where isolation and distance became the norm and many people stayed away from loved ones. ‘Distance’ also sums up the experiences of many Syrian and non-Syrian people, forcibly displaced, exiled or refugees around the world as a result of injustice.