Never Can I Write of Damascus
Never Can I Write of Damascus

Never Can I Write of Damascus

When Syria Became Our Home


272 Pages, 7.5 x 9.25

Formats: Paperback

Paperback, $24.99 (CA $29.99) (US $24.99)

Publication Date: June 2016

ISBN 9781682570067

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In 2005, teacher Theresa Kubasak and retired publisher Gabe Huck moved to Syria with the hope of making a positive contribution for the many Iraqis who sought refuge there after the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. In 2007, they established the Iraqi Student Project, which in five years successfully prepared 60 young Iraqi refugees for admission to U.S. colleges. This is Kubasak and Huck's account of the years they spent in four different neighborhoods in Damascus. It describes the many deep relationships they built there, with Syrians and with Iraqi and Palestinian refugees. Never Can I Write of Damascus paints a uniquely intimate picture of daily life in the heritage-rich country of Syria in the period before and just after the 2011 eruption of unrest there. It contains stunning photos, hand-drawn maps, and other rich supplemental content.


"Photographs and breakout texts from notable writers, poets, and students enrich the authors' own anecdotes and build layers of historical perspective . . . . As beautiful as it is provocative and urgent, Never Can I Write of Damascus is an enlightening travel memoir that packs a powerful moral punch." —Scott Neuffer, Foreword Reviews

Author Biography

Gabe Huck was a Benedictine monk who has devoted himself to peace and justice issues since 1965. A conscientious objector to war, he counseled other COs and in 1967 cheered Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s antiwar speech on Vietnam. In 1968, he walked as a mourner behind Dr. King's coffin. In 2005, he went to Damascus with Theresa and found a home among Syrians whom he found to be "well practiced in kindness to refugees." Theresa Kubasak always braided social justice activism into her 40 years as a teacher, including work she did with the Woody Guthrie Archives. In 1999, she traveled to Iraq in defiance of the US/UN sanctions. At age 54, Theresa resigned from the New York Public Schools to study Arabic in Damascus. There, she founded the Iraqi Student Project with her husband, Gabe Huck, teaching world literature and writing to Iraqi refugee students, and tutoring Syrian refugees in Istanbul.