Raqqa : Euphrates and Literature

 Najah Ibrahim, novelist and Chairperson of Raqqa’s Arab Writers Association’s branch talked to Syria Times on her Career and literature life in Raqaa city.

Can you tell our readers little about your life and interest in literature?

My literature interests began when I was in the Eighth Class; I participated in many schools activities and literature nights in my area. I began in reading the fame and well-known Arab and Syrian writers. I remembered my first novel was  ‘ Basma among tears’ written by Dr. Abdulsalam al-Ojely, who is from Raqqa city,  works for Jibran Khalil Jibran and others. I continued my literature readings and school study. I chose to study the Arab Literature and continued the post-graduate studies. I issued my first stories volume ‘Glory in the Black Bag’ in 1992 and keep issuing till today. My works were translated to Turkish, Kurdish and English languages, my novel ‘Immar’ is currently being translated into English in Egypt. I have eleven printed works and three draft works. I participated in literature activities and festivals in Turkey, Kuwait, Libya and Lebanon. I was elected to be the chairperson of the Arab Writers Association’s Raqqa Branch to serve the literature and writers in my province and achieve what I believe in.

What is the importance of Raqqa’s literature life in general and short story in particular in Syria and Arab world?

Although Raqqa is a small province but it produced well-known writers, researchers and novelists who play key role in the Syrian and Arab cultural arena. The city’s writers could reach their works to the Arab states and attract many well-known Arab and international writers to visit the city and participate in its literature activities. Raqqa’s writers have special participation in the short story and novel works. A Syrian famous writer said that Raqqa is the country’s capital of short story. Its writers are very professional  in choosing ideas, themes and poetic language with local accents and terms.

Would  you tell readers about  the most famous novelists and short stories’ writers in Raqqa?

I said before that there are many writers and novelists in Raqqa. I can mention some of them but cannot count all of them. the most well-known story  writer in Syria and the Arab world is Dr. Abdulsalam al-Ojely, who was born and lived in the city of Raqqa. If I want to describe Raqqa , I can say there are two Euphrates , one is the river and the second is Ojely who describes  the hard life and details of the city in his most works. Ojely’s works are translated in many languages and gave international fame to the city. There are other writers such as Khalil Jassim Hamidi, Ibrahim Khalil, Sami Hamza, Subhi Dousoqi, Omar al-Hamoud, Ibrahim al-A’aloush and others.

How the desert environment and Euphrates River affect the literature works?

If any reader reads works written by Raqqa’s writers, he will feel the affect of the Euphrates and desert and Bedouin life between lines. Each writer reflects  his/her  background in an  indirect  or direct way on his works and Raqqa’s writers are very loyal to their social background, women life and tribal traditions. The sunshine and colourful nature also are reflected in their novels, stories and paintings. 


Obaida Mohamad




Al-Zahyria Library

Considered as one of the oldest libraries in Damascus and the most important Arab libraries, Al-Zahyria Library  was founded by Zahir Baybars in 676 AH . It is located in Bab-Al-Bareed near the Umayyad Mosque in the heart of Old Damascus.

It contains best references and a large number of  books.

 being  as a  school at the beginning of its establishment, the library contains manuscripts and references, other libraries' contents  were garnished al -Zahyria's shelves.


To maintain and preserve  the contents of the library, manuscripts and library references were transferred to Al-Assad National Library which is considered as the most important one among libraries in the Middle East.

Hanan Shamout


20 Films screened in Tartous

Tartous-(ST): The Art House in cooperation with  the General Cinema Establishment with the tartous-based Cinema are set to display 20 Syrian films .

The one-week long event  starts from 27 Nov. through 2 Dec.

The films include remarkable cinematic works as regards  social and artistic daring.Furthermore,These films depicts the living standards of people and tackling daily –life issues through the eye of cinema  away from visual talkative .

The films are as follows: Unknown Lady, Film About Love, Farwell, Our Hands, Memoirs of Primitive Man, Monologue, The Story of The Seven gates, Early December Winds, Mood, No Subject, February 29, Love's Wall, Marrow, The Eleventh Will, The Penguin, Whispers, Here is Damascus, Behind Faces, Isolation and  Very Hot Volt.

Nada haj Khidr

Al-Halqi Praises Arab Intellectuals's Role in Defending Arab Nation’s Heritage

DAMASCUS, (ST)_ Prime Minister, Dr. Wael al-Halqi, stressed the important role played by the Arab intellectuals in revealing the reality of conspiracies and challenges facing the Arab Countries.

Al -Halqi, during a meeting the Arab Writers Union executive bureau head and members, appreciated the role of writers' in consolidating national values and defending the heritage of the Arab nation.

Premier al-Halqi hailed the role of cultural centers in the Syrian rural areas as a gate to spread the culture of awareness, tolerance and citizenship in light of the imported takfiri thinking which aims at destroying the human and eliminating anyone who has contrary opinions.

The Prime Minister said that the government exerting big efforts to solve economic, housing, social, education, services and health issues in a bid to reduce the impact of the unjust economic sanctions which negatively affected the Syrian citizens.

“Syria is open to all initiatives that lead to achieve security and stability and carry out reforms without any foreign intervention or dictates which undermine the national sovereignty and the Syrian citizen's dignity,” He added.

For his part, Hussein Jumaa chairman of the Arab Writers Union, pointed to the efforts exerted by the union members to uncover the conspiracy which aims at fragmenting Syria and its national unity.

Jumaa stressed the Arab writers' keenness and calls for solving the crisis through dialogue among all spectrums of the Syrian people in a way that preserves Syria's security and stability.


Ibrahim Zaaboub

"Woman in the world cinema" festival opens

The cinema festival opens today at Kendi hall, Damascus.

The 16-day event is organized by the Public Establishment of Cinema.

The event is held under the title "Woman in the World cinema" at 5 p.m.

The opening movie will be "A Child is Ridding The Bike" directed by Jack Peirre Dardand and Luc Dardand. This film won the prize of Cannes International Film Festival.

Many other famous  films will follow, and the woman plays starring role in most of these films.

Three films will be shown per day starting from 1:00 p.m, 3:00 p.m till 5:00 p.m.


Monday 26-11-2012: Ms. Mannifer, The Smile of Monalisa, The Memories of Geisha Girl.

Tuesday 27-11-2012: Dirty Water, Courage, Amelia.

Wednesday 28-11-2012: Gigi, Julie And Julia, White, Pink  Grotto.

Thursday 29-11-2012: Connie And Carla, Charged, Horror Room.

Friday 30-11-2012: Good Woman, Elizabeth, My Life In Pink.

Saturday 1-12-2012: Glass House, Being Julia, Hours.

Sunday 2-12-2012: Anna Caranina, Man Going To Executions, Cause 39.

Monday 3-12-2012: Dance At Lunaza, Alternative Mother, St.

Tuesday 4-12-2012: Angel Eyes, Doubt, Eight Women.

Wednesday 5-12-2012: Summer of 1942, Ladies' Lavender Perfume, Nikita.

Thursday 6-12-2012: Disabled Girl, Neil is Wild Girl, Sylvia.

Friday 7-12-2012: Danger Relations, Ive Khor, Peggy Sue Got married.

Saturday 8-12-2012: Misery, Monsoon Wedding, Diamond Eye Tear loss.

Sunday 9-12-2012: The Prince and the Dancer, Tender is Must, The Train of Lover.

Monday 10-12-2012: Another Wanton Girl, Heat of The Body, I and the King.

Maher Taki