When Peter Clark arrived in Damascus 1992 to open the new British Council office, he was not to know that the next five years were to give him an unique window on the upper echelons of Syrian society in the last few years of Hafez Al-Assad's rule. Here we see the dramas and routines of everyday life played out against the backdrop of the world's oldest continually inhabited city on the eve of collapse into civil war. Enchanting and alarming by turns, everyday events combine to paint a vivid and almost nostalgic picture of life in this remarkable city.
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About the Author
Dr. Peter Clark is a translator, writer and consultant. For 30 years he worked for the British Council in Jordan, Lebanon, Sudan, Yemen, Tunisia, the United Arab Emirates, and Syria. He has translated eight works by contemporary Arab writers including fiction by Muhammad al-Murr, Liana Badr and Ulfat Idilbi, as well as drama, poetry, and history. He has written books on Marmaduke Pickthall and Wilfred Thesiger, and has written obituaries of Arab writers for the Guardian. His latest publications include a collection of writings on the Middle East, Coffeehouse Footnotes, and a book on Istanbul in the series "Cities of the Imagination." Peter is a tour consultant, advising on cultural tourism in Turkey and Syria, a Trustee of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, and a Contributing Editor of Banipal.