Nihad SIREES is a civil engineer who lives in Aleppo. His novels include Cancer, The North Winds, A Case of Passion, and Noise and Silence. Of his many television dramas the most widely acclaimed, Silk Market, set in Aleppo during the political turmoil of the 1950s, was shown throughout the Middle East, in Germany and in Australia. His latest series, Al Khait Al Abiadh (‘The First Gleam of Dawn’), provides a frank depiction of the country’s government-controlled media. Many Arab-speaking stations aired the series in 2004, generating praise for its boldness and controversy. He is at work on a 30-episode series about the early life of the Lebanese-born artist and poet Kahlil Gibran. He participates courtesy of the US Department of State.
Evan Ryan, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs at the US Department of State, writes about cultural diplomacy and the International Writing Program for the Harvard International Review.