Short Story, Novel & Drama

  • Born in Husain Al-Baher village in Tartus Governorate, Syria, in 1941.
  • He graduated from high school in his village.
  • He acquired his first book, Jubran’s ‘Dam’a wa Ibtisamah’ (A Tear and A Smile) at the age of 12. His book collection later grew to include other writers such as Taha Hussein, Al Aqqad, Mikhail Nou’aima, Naguib Mahfouz, Yousef Al Siba’i, Ihsan Abdel Quddous, etc.
  • In 1959, after attaining his secondary education certificate, he got a scholarship to study journalism at the Faculty of Arts, Cairo University.
  • The dissolution of the union between Syria and Egypt in 1961 deeply shook him and inspired him to write a long play titled, ‘Al Hayat Abadan’ (Life Forever).
  • In 1962, he wrote an article about the union and its dissolution in the Adab Magazine and other articles in ‘Damascus’ Al Nasr in 1962.
  • In 1963 he obtained his bachelor’s degree and authored a huge critical study of the novel, ‘Al Sa’am’ (Boredom) in 1963.
  • He delivered a series of lectures under the title of ‘In Search of Arabic Theatre’ at the Higher Institute of Dramatic Arts in Damascus.

Decision of the General Secretariat : 

Saadallah Wannous has been granted the award for his body of work, with a special mention of the following four plays: ‘Haflat Samar Min Ajl 5 Huzairan’ (A Soiree for June 5), ‘Sahra Ma’a Abi Khalil Al Qabbani’ (An Evening with Abu Khalil Al Qabbani), ‘Mughamarat Ra’s Al Mamluk Jaber’ (Adventure of Mamluk Jaber’s Head) and ‘Al Malik Howal Malik’ (The King is the King).


These works underline the key aspects of Arabic drama and reflect Arab heritage in terms of history, mythology and tales. Moreover, they build on the dramatic heritage of humanity, both classical and modern, and make special use of the techniques of epic theatre and the play within a play in a dramatic format that aims at creating a new Arab theatre. His works have a clear vision of the present, both theoretically and practically, and show a complete awareness of the role drama plays in deepening the collective sense of destiny.

Famous Works : 

  • ‘Fasd Al Dam’ (Bloodletting), 1964.
  • ‘Hakaya Jawqat Al Tamatheel’ (Tales of the Statues’ Choir), his debut short story collection issued by the Ministry of Culture in 1965.
  • ‘Indama Yal’ab Al Rijal’ (When Men Play), 1968.
  • ‘Haflat Samar Min Ajl 5 Huzairan’ (A Soiree for June 5), 1968.
  • ‘Al Feel Ya Malik Alzaman’ (Elephant, King of All Times), 1969.
  • ‘Mughamarat Ra’s Al Mamluk Jaber’ (Adventure of Mamluk Jaber’s Head), 1979.
  • ‘About Theatre Traditions’, a translation, 1976.
  • ‘Al Malik Howal Malik’ (The King is the King), 1977.
  •  ‘Rihlat Hanthala’ (Hanthala’s Journey), 1978.
  • ‘Al Ightisab’ (The Rape), 1990.
  • ‘Munamnamat Tarikhiyya’ (Historical Miniatures), 1994.
  • ‘Tuqus Al Isharat wal Tahawwulat’ (Rituals of Signs and Transformations), 1994.
  • ‘Ahlam Shaqiyya’ (Wretched Dreams), 1995.
  • ‘Yawm Min Zamanana’ (A Day of Our Time), 1995.
  • ‘Malhamat Al Sarab’ (The Mirage Epic), 1996.
  • ‘Bilad Adyaq min Al Hub’ (A Country Narrower than Love), 1996.
  • ‘Rihla Fee Majahel Mawt Aaber’ (A Journey through the Obscurities of a Passing Death), 1996.
  • ‘Al Ayyam Al Makhmoura’ (Drunken Days), 1997.

He passed away on May 15, 1997.