Assad and Me
What piqued my curiosity the most was that not even cockroaches and mice came into this room. Perhaps they didn't dare to. Is it possible that humans have a greater tolerance for dirt than vermin? This is what crossed my mind on the evening of October 1st, 2013, just two days after I was arrested. The thoughts still haunt me here in New York, thousands of miles away from that awful prison cell. I anticipated the very moment of my arrest, years before it happened. I was certain that I would eventually be incarcerated, but couldn't yet imagine how or where.
Assad and Me
"Assad and Me" blends personal biography and national history. It is a description of the Syrian revolt and the murderous regime it opposed. I am the first Syrian journalist to cover the events of the Syrian revolution inside Syria; this is my report years after the catastrophe in my country.
I have presented details about security, the economy, and Iranian penetration into the deep state leading to the Syrian civil war.
Praise for Issam Khoury's "Assad and Me"
Issam Khoury is a Syrian patriot and expatriate. His book "Assad and Me" is a unique truth-telling of how the Assad regime, aided by Russian forces, has struggled to imprison and expel millions of Syrians who want nothing more than a decent life for their families. We need to understand his story as we struggle to come to grips with Russia's invasion of Ukraine and find pathways to avoid similar catastrophes elsewhere.
- Cameron B. Hume, United States Ambassador to Algeria (1997-2000), South Africa (2001-2004), and Indonesia (2007–2010), and author (United Nations, Iran and Iraq: How Peacemaking Changed, Ending Mozambique's War, and Mission to Algiers: Diplomacy by Engagement)
The fact Issam Khoury has a reputation as a knowledgeable reporter on what is going on in his native Syria, in particular, and in the Middle East, in general, is very well-deserved.
Khoury had engaged in the civil rights movements during the early 2000's and ran afoul of the Assad government' secret service. Eventually, he had to leave the country, and arrive in New York in 2013.
-Veteran journalist Charles Weiss, regional correspondent for VOA.
Issam Khoury has been detained, interrogated, beaten and tortured, and forced to flee his country because of his journalism and political activism over the last 15 years in Syria, a country torn apart by revolution and the reprisals of a brutal regime led by Bashar al-Assad.
Hundreds of articles, many on freedom and human rights, and two novels that Khoury wrote put him in the radar of al-Assad and his secret police and provoked a series of interrogations throughout the years that ended with his detention in 2012.
-LOUMAY ALESALI, MEDILL REPORTS CHICAGO
Issam Khoury, a well-known freelance journalist, and civil rights activist, has faced consistent threats from the Syrian regime for more than a decade as the result of his work.
Even before he started covering the civil war in Syria, Issam Khoury was under constant threat for what he wrote.
As a Syrian Christian, Khoury was also pushing back against Assad's insistence that he was helping protect the country's religious minorities.
-VERONIKA BONDARENKO, BUSINESS INSIDER
Khoury, a Syrian freelancer, faced constant threats from the government of Bashar al-Assad for more than a decade before protests in 2011 spread to his hometown of Latakia, a stronghold for regime supporters.
-The Committee to Protect Journalists