Empty Heavens

Odai al-Zoubi  |  Creative and Critical Writings  |  2023  |  Syria
Empty Heavens  is a collection of stories about everyday Syrians in their countries of refuge. The collection engages with the limbo they live in, their attempts to understand themselves again. The project is not concerned with documentation or with telling the story of Syrians in the war. From the author’s perspective, both are the domain of activists, politicians and journalists in the direct sense, and not that of writers. Instead, the project is centered on the concept of limbo, exile and how it presents people an incomparable opportunity to understand themselves. The project follows what it calls the opportunity that Syrians constantly think of to revise their emotions, beliefs, traditions, pasts and hopes. The project considers this limbo a chance for change and notes a complete failure to change. For the author, when one is poor, exhausted and surrounded by cruel enemies and weak, defeated friends like oneself, it becomes impossible to understand the world or take the right path. In this sense, regular life almost dissipates and family and personal relations shrink and freeze. There remains only limbo; after a failed revolution, in the hearts and souls of people, and in their attempts to understand the world and themselves. A limbo with no end in sight.