A Dialogue with Zakaria Tamer

By: Ziad Majed

Posted on: June 5, 2012


“Before my departure from this world, I hope to sit in a Damascene cafe and swear at the top of my voice at all the Syrian officials without feeling intimidated or fearing arrest.”

Born in Damascus in 1931, Zakaria Tamer lived in its traditional working class neighborhoods, where he worked from a young age in blacksmithing and hand crafts, through which he came to know his society and people, the circumstances of their lives and their varied mentalities.

In 1957, he decided to enter the world of writing and chose short stories as his literary genre.

From 1960 until 1978, and between 1994 and 2005, several collections of Tamer’s short stories were published, including the “Neighing of the White Horse”, “A Spring in the Ashes”, “Thunder”, “Damascus of the Fires”, “The Tigers in the Tenth Day”, “Noah’s Calling”, “We will Laugh”, “Sour Grapes”, “Knee Busting”, and “The Hedgehog”. In addition, he published children’s stories, most notably “Why the River went Silent” and “The Rose said to the Sparrow”.

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