Oct
11
Fri 12:00 PM

Syria: Tolerance or Violence

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When: Friday, October 11, 2013
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM  
Where: 1902 Sheridan Road  
Evanston, IL 60208 map it
Audience: - Faculty/Staff - Student
Contact: Krzysztof Kozubski  
Group: Buffett Center for International and Comparative Studies
Category: Lectures & Meetings

Riad Ismat, Buffett Center Visiting Scholar, is an award winning Syrian short-story writer and an acclaimed dramatist/critic in the Arab world, with 12 plays and 6 collections of stories and several books of criticism on arts and literature to his credit. He was Syrian minister of culture (October 2010 - June 2012), and also served as ambassador, director general of State Radio & TV, and Rector of the Academy of Dramatic Arts. He read English at Damascus University and completed graduate studies in theater direction at Cardiff University. He was trained as a television producer at the BBC, and was a Mime instructor with Adam Darius in London. Subsequently, he went to the United States as a Fulbright scholar, where he worked as an assistant to Joseph Chaikin, and wrote a dissertation on improvisation and theatre games in actor training. Ismat also directed extensively in Damascus, especially plays by Shakespeare and Williams, beside his versions of the Arabian Nights, Shahryar’s Nights, Sinbad and Game of Love & Revolution. He wrote In Search of Zenobia, Abla & Antar, Mata Hari and Was Dinner Good, my Sister, as well as a book on the Nobel prize laureate Naguib Mahfouz. He also wrote 7 television serials, broadcast from many Arab satellite stations, especially the award winning Holaco. In his career, Ismat has emphasized bridging the gap between cultures, drawing  from Arab heritage with an experimental approach, advocating humanitarian values and condemning totalitarianism that represses freedom of expression, stressing democracy and tolerance.