As part of ‘Celebrating Syria' Festival 2018, on 12 October 2018, Dr Alessandro Columbu of Manchester University presented a talk on the life and oeuvre of the Syrian short story writer Zakaria Tamer. Widely considered the father of the modern Syrian short story, Tamer’s works have influenced entire generations of Arab writers and readers.
Dr Columbu addressed Tamer’s trajectory both thematically and chronologically. Passages from his short stories were read by actress Nadia Emam. The talk stimulated a great discussion on modernity, gender roles and authoritarianism in contemporary Syrian literature.