Zakaria Tamer

(1931- )

Born in 1931 in the Al-Basha district of
Damascus, Zakaria Tamer is largely self-educated and worked as an apprentice to a craftsman. He has worked in television and journalism.

Most of Zakaria Tamer"s stories deal with peoples’ inhumanity towards each other, the oppression of the poor by the rich and of the weak by the strong. The political and social problems of his own country,
Syria, and of the Arab world, are reflected in the stories and sketches in the satirical style typical of his writing. He is also the foremost author of children’s stories in Arabic, and one of the most translated short story writer in the Arab world.

His first stories were published in 1957. Since then he has published eleven collections of short stories, two collections of satirical articles and numerous children’s books, which have appeared in
Beirut and Damascus. His works have been translated into many languages, with two collections in English, Tigers on the Tenth Day (trans. Denys Johnson-Davies, Quartet 1985) and Breaking Knees, published June 2008.

He was awarded the Owais Prize for the Novel in 2001.

Read Arabic Short Stories.