"The Shell" illustration for "The Shell" by Syrian author Mustafa Khalifa.
The text has been translated from arabic by Elisabeth Jaquette and it has also been translated into chinese, by Francis Li Zhuoxiong. The bio-text from Asymptote explains in a very fine way who Khalifa is, and what the text is about:
"Mustafa Khalifa (b.1948) is a Syrian author who was imprisoned for more than twelve years by the Syrian regime for his political activities as a member of the leftist opposition to the regime of Hafez al-Assad. From 1982-1994, Khalifa was held without trial at various state security prisons, including the infamous Tadmur Military Prison, a detention center described as a "kingdom of death and madness" by poet Faraj Bayraqdar and the "absolute prison" by dissident Yassin al-Haj Salih. He is the author of The Shell, which has been lauded as one of the finest examples of Arabic prison literature, and which has been translated into French as La Coquille. He currently lives in exile, where he continues to write against the al-Assad regime."
Read the full text here.