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from the October 2014 issue

Syria Speaks: An Interview with Zaher Omareen and Malu Halasa

Malu Halasa and Zaher Omareen are two of the editors of Syria Speaks: Art and Culture from the Frontline.  This new anthology showcases Syrian essays, fiction, poetry, visual art and photography, in a wide-ranging collection of artistic work that explores, critiques, and bears witness to the momentous changes experienced by the Syrian people since 2011.







Malu Halasa is a writer and curator with a focus on the Middle East. She co-curated three exhibitions of Syria’s resistance art in London, Amsterdam and Copenhagen in 2012 and 2013, and her previous works include The Secret Life of Syrian Lingerie.

Zaher Omareen is a Syrian writer, journalist, and cultural event organizer. He is currently completing a collection of short stories. You can read his short-story "A Bedtime Story for Eid" in this month's issue of Words without Borders

Syria Speaks was published by Saqi Books in the UK, and will be available in the US on October 20. Zaher Omareen and Malu Halasa spoke to Beau Bothwell from London in August. 

The interview was conducted and edited by Bothwell, who is Assistant Professor of Music at Kalamazoo College. Beau completed his PhD at Columbia University in 2013 with a dissertation entitled “Sound, State, Sawa: Music and Political Radio between the US and Syria,” and is currently researching and writing on the role of music in Syrian opposition radio.

Music for this interview was provided by Syrian buzuq player, composer, and vocalist Salah Ammo.  More of Mr. Ammo’s music is available at

© Beau Bothwell, 2014. All rights reserved. 

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