Samar Yazbek is an author and journalist. She has written numerous novels, short stories, film scripts, and has edited the feminist e-zine Women of Syria. A prominent voice in support of human rights and women's rights, she took part in the protests against the Assad government. In 2012, she received the PEN/Pinter International Writer of Courage Award for her book A Woman in the Crossfire (2012), an account of the Syrian uprising’s first months. Since she has left Syria in 2011, she has secretly returned several times to her homeland. In her latest book, The Crossing: My Journey to the Shattered Heart of Syria (2015), she testifies to how a peaceful uprising transformed into an appalling conflict.