A Selection of International Children's and Youth Literature

French / Belgium

Je t’enverrai des fleurs de Damas
(I’ll send you flowers from Damascus)

Andriat, Frank (text)
Namur: Mijade, 2014. – 138 p.
ISBN 978-2-87423-099-8

Islamism – Fundamentalism – War 

A French high school is in shock: Two students, Wassim and Othmane, totally “normal” fifteen-year-old Franco-Arabic boys suddenly leave as new Salafist recruits to fight in the Syrian war. Their closeted conversion to Salafism and break with their everyday environment occurred without friends and family really noticing anything; they seemed quite successful at school and socially “integrated”. Who recruited them? Do they still have a way out? Wassim’s Muslim girlfriend Myriam and a teacher whom she trusts correspond with each other on these complex questions. Frank Andriat’s novel offers a way into the debate surrounding why adolescents of diverse backgrounds might be receptive to Salafist rabble-rousers, who beckon with promises of earning respect, pseudo-religious identification and social solidarity, and why young people might permit themselves to be mobilised for Salafist political, religious, and military goals. (Age: 13+)