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Novel by Syrian Scientist and Former Prisoner of Conscience Mustafa Khalifa

Al-Qawqa’a (The Shell), a novel by Syrian topographer Mustafa Khalifa, has been published in Arabic and French. Mr. Khalifa’s writing draws on his own experience as a prisoner of conscience in Syria from 1982 to 1994. Like Musa, the apolitical protagonist of his novel, Mr. Khalifa was never found to have any political affiliation, even though he was arrested for suspected membership in the prohibited Party for Communist Action and subjected to lengthy interrogation and physical and psychological torture. Al-Qawqa’a is set in Tadmur Military Prison, a facility where Mr. Khalifa was held for three years during his prolonged detention. Amnesty International considered Mr. Khalifa to be a prisoner of conscience. The CHR adopted his case shortly after his arrest in January 1982. The Committee’s 1993 report, Scientists and Human Rights in Syria, includes information on his case.
To read a review of Al-Qawqa’a that appeared in the Syrian Studies Association Newsletter, please click here.