"Shock and grief met news of the passing of beloved, award-winning Syrian novelist Khaled Khalifa, a fierce critic of injustice, keen-eyed polemicist, gifted novelist, avid cook, and warm human being. He was just 59." At DAI we feel humbled and grateful to have known Khaled, who, in 2008 / 2009 generously contributed a beautiful text about Straight Street in Damascus to Here as the Centre of the World, the book published by Archis that accompanied DAI's two year long project of the same name that brought together young artists from Beirut, Damascus, Diyarbakir, Enschede, Khartoum and Taipei. Few years later we were devastated and ashamed that we had to share Khaled's Open Letter to friends and colleagues worldwide: "In its modern history, the world has not yet seen valor and courage such as those displayed by the revolutionary Syrians in all our towns and villages, as the world has not yet seen such a silence, that is now considered a complicity in the murder and extermination of my people. 
My people is the people of peace, coffee and music, that I wish you will taste one day, roses the fragrances of which I hope you will breathe one day, so that you know that the center of the world is today exposed to a genocide, and that the whole world is an accomplice to the spilling of our blood.
" May Khaled Khalifa rest in power.