Syrian writer Khaled Khalifa toured the UK in 2014 as part of the ‘Syria Speaks’ book tour, a project that shone the light on the concept of culture as a critical line of defense against tyranny.
Khaled Khalifa was born in 1964, in a village close to Aleppo, Syria. He is the fifth child of a family of thirteen siblings. He studied law at Aleppo University and actively participated in the foundation of Aleph magazine with a group of writers and poets. A few months later, the magazine was closed down by the Syrian authorities.
He currently lives in Damascus where he writes scripts for cinema and television. Khalifa’s In Praise of Hatred – published secretly in Damascus and banned forty days later – was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2008. Set in and around 1980’s Aleppo, the story unpicks a life lived under dictatorship and loudly echoes the violence across the Middle East and the Arab world over. His work has been internationally recognised and awarded.