Syria, in Words and Music

Event Date: 
Saturday, November 7, 2015 – 7:30pm9:30pm
Bezanson Recital Hall, UMASS, Amherst, MA 01002

On November 7, at 7:30 p.m., in UMass’s Bezanson Recital Hall, Syrian writer Rasha Abbas and her English translator Alice Guthrie will read original stories and nonfiction from Syria.

The reading will be accompanied by the Layaali Arabic Music Ensemble, with a program of all Syrian music, featuring Syrian master oud player Kinan Idnawi.

In this time where headlines carry only horrific tales from the region, come and celebrate with us a land of enduring art and culture.

Free and open to the public.

Sponsored by The Common and the Massachusetts Review.

Rasha Abbas is a Syrian journalist and writer of short stories, currently based in Stuttgart, Germany. In 2008 she published her first collection, Adam Hates the Television, and was awarded a prize at the Damascus Capital of Arab Culture festival. In 2013 she co-wrote the script for a short film, Happiness and Bliss, and in 2014 she contributed, both as a writer and as a translator, to Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline, published by Saqi Books. She is currently completing her second short story collection, The Gist of It. Her work will be featured in a forthcoming issue of The Common.

Alice Guthrie is a translator, writer, editor and researcher working in Arabic, Spanish, French, and English. Her translations of Syrian, Palestinian, Moroccan, Iraqi, Egyptian, Sudanese, and Saudi literary works have been published by various UK and US presses and venues. Recent literary publications include sections of The Book of Gaza (Comma Press) and Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline (Saqi), and she is currently editing translated novels for London’s Darf Press. She has full-length collections forthcoming of both Rasha Abbas and Zaher Omareen’s short fiction, and was one of the 2014-15 ALTA Fellows. Her translation of Zaher Omareen’s story “Milk” was featured in a recent issue of the Massachusetts Review.

Syria, in Words and Music

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