Brief Biography

Gladys Matar giving a lecture at Susa University

Born to Wade Matar, a pioneering architect and Leila Richo, an artistic home maker, Gladys Matar grew up in an environment ideally suited for nurturing the growth of her artistic and literary talents from early age.

In Latakia, the city with the distinction of being the most important port of Syria, Ms. Matar attended (Les Carmelites) catholic school from kindergarten through middle school, and then moved to the public school system (following legislative changes that prohibited private religious schools thereafter).

Later, she attended the foreign literature program at the University of Latakia, graduating in 1984 with a degree in French literature.

In 1982, while still in college, her short story “The Rain” won the Arab Writers Guild’s first prize of a contest for a short story in her city.

In 1984 her short story Who Would Bring Aiisha Back Her Toy won the prestigious Arab Woman Magazine’s first prize of a contest for an Arabic short story, among participants from numerous countries across the Arab World.

In 1989 an article she authored entitled “Donkey’s Tail” won the first prize of The Middle East newspaper from London, England.  Ms. Matar was in the United States at the time, pursuing her first in-depth studies in the arts and receiving training as a professional translator.

Literary activities and Events

Upon returning home 1992, Ms. Matar published her first book,(Awaiting the Limestone to Flourish),” with an introduction by renowned author Adel Abou-Shanab. This seminal work was republished in 1998 by Nawfal Publishing House in Beirut, Lebanon.

In 1999, Ms. Matar published a new Collection of short stories (Fleeting Joy) that revealed the most delicate social and political dilemma in our Arabic daily life. This book is published by Nawfal publication house in Beirut.

In 1999, a collection of articles on the concept of art in general entitled (Off Beat) was also published by Nawfal publication house in Beirut.

In 2001, Ward House in Damascus published Ms. Matar first novel (Velvet Revolution): a work of fiction that was widely distributed attracting a fair share of critiquing. This book was introduced by the renowned Moroccan author and thinker Fatima Almarnisi as a novel dealing with “how an Arab relates to his past.”

In  2002,  Another collection of short stories (Love Sized for the World)  offered by Nawfal Publishing House as a first in a series of books targeting middle school students, which was later adopted as required reading by the ministry of Education in Lebanon. The introduction to this book and its enriching end-of-chapter quizzes testing the student’s comprehension were contributed by Antoine Toomey, PhD, one of Lebanon’s best education specialists.

In 2003, Al-Hewar House in Latakia published a series of short stories entitled (Dormant Desire). This book was her first direct work on Middle East politics, in which she explored, deeply, the peculiar world of the big players.

In 2005, she delivered a lecture on (women’s sentimental femininity) at Abu Dhabi union writers of emirates. 

In 2006,

A- Ward House in Damascus published another book for Ms. Matar entitled (Behind The Veil Of Femininity) with an introduction by Abdel-Kabir Alminawi: Morocco’s renowned author and critic.

B- She participated in Mr. Muhammad Al -Maghout congressional death ceremony at     Jinan University in Tripoli – Lebanon as part of Rashid Karami international fair activities. Her lecture was about Mr. Maghout whole works and his highly effect on Syrian lives. The symposium was run by M. Ghada Sobeih (PhD) the head dept. of faculty of information.

In 2007, she presented her paper titled the Security in the Mediterranean basin during an International Forum in Algeria. This was held by the Ministry of Culture and the National Algerian library.

In 2008,

A – Ms. Matar presented a paper titled “the officially authorized violence against women in popular proverbs and cinematic dramas at Susa University in Tunisia” .

B- Lionized by the Jordanian American Association of Southern California

C – A lecture and press conference, hosted by Prestige Magazine in Los Angeles, about “her entire career as a writer and researcher “.

In 2009,

A – Attakwin publishing house in Damascus published a new book for Ms. Matar entitled Delaying the Sunset . In this book, she presented a serious research on the duality of female brain operating on both: Sanctification and delinquency basis.

B- In the international exhibition of Al Assad library in Damascus, she signed her book (Delaying the Sunset). The book signing was sponsored by Attakwin publishing house and carried out in its private wing at the exhibition.

C – She delivered a lecture on “The Arabic Novels: its History and Development” at Claremont McKenna College in Los Angeles – California.

D – She delivered a lecture at Arab press guild in Los Angeles about the content of her book (delaying the sunset).

E – Hosted by Alhurra TV in Beirut (very close) program. The topic was about her book (delaying the sunset) and the “religious sacred sex in old times “.

In  2010,

A – A series of 15 comedy sketches written by Ms. Matar for radio were performed by the most famous Syrian comedians (Basel  Yakour and Nidal Sejary) and  broadcasted by Arabesque radio in Syria .

B – She delivered a co-lecture at Arab American press guild with Prof. Ghassan Elias and Mr. Masad Arbid, MD. On the “Arabo-phobia syndrome

In 2011,   Yale University Press published a textbook Arabic for life for Arabic language. This book is a comprehensive approach to beginning Arabic instruction and is specifically tailored to the needs of talented and dedicated students. Arabic for Life book offers a dynamic and multidimensional view of the Arab world that incorporates language with Arabic culture and intellectual thought.

Gladys presented an award by Mr. Amin Al zawi
The book contains 2 pages about Ms. Matar under a headline titled (Arabic modern authors), and is written by Prof. Bassam Frangieh who is a professor of Arabic at Claremont-McKenna College. He previously taught at Georgetown, Yale, and the Foreign Service Institute. He is the author of Anthology of Arabic Literature, Culture, and Thought from Pre-Islamic Times to the Present, published by Yale University Press.

In 2012,

A – Ms. Matar issued a new novel entitled Mariam Law. This was published by Ward House, one of Damascus’s most celebrated publishing houses. Mariam’s Law is a story of one country and a multitude of directions and inclinations; a story of big old love tinted, yet sanctified by history; a story documenting, with chronological precision, the most prominent historical events in Greater Syria coincided with these of the present moment.

B- a Book signing for her  Novel “Mariam Law “at “ Nai Art Café “ in Latakia city – Syria.  Ward Publishing House in Damascus sponsored the book signing and for a period of three days in a row (12/11/13 March 2012).

C – Ms. Matar wrote a play, a (monodrama) entitled (the last chatter of Al maghout). This play was performed by a Syrian actor (Souhail Haddad) on stages in many cities in Syria with a plan of future tour around some Arabic countries. This play is about the ongoing so called Arab spring.

In 2013, Ms. Matar story (very respectfully yours ) from her series entitled (fleeting joy) was the topic for the Italian artist Ms. Marina Pentimalli thesis graduation at the University of Rome – La Sapienza – Eastern Studies Department – translation.

D- Short stories (eBook on Amazon) entitled “House of Jasmine” translated by Clermont McKenna College.

E- Short stories (eBook on Amazon) entitled “Out in the world, Inside my heart” translated by Clermont McKenna College.

Ms. Matar has appeared in much exclusive radio, television and magazine interviews across the Arab World. She is fluent in both English and French, in addition to Arabic – her mother tongue. Her professional memberships include:

– Union of Arab writers, Syria (since 2002)

– Novel and Story Club, Syria

– Arab American Cultural Society

– Arab American press Guild

– Los Angeles writers networking group (Storiad)

–  Pasadena Creative Writers Group

Ms. Matar dedicates her time to research, writing, translating and delivering lectures on world current affairs. She is also produces works for others and she is perhaps the first ghostwriter in the Arab World.

Rewards

Ms. Gladys Matar was lionized by:

1-      The Ministry of Culture and the National Library in Algeria for her participation in the Mediterranean basin conference and for presenting her paper titled  the Security in the Mediterranean basin .( 2007 )

2-      Susa University – the Tunisian faculty of literature and human science. (2008) for her paper titled “the officially authorized violence against women in popular proverbs and cinematic dramas

3-      the Jordanian American Association of Southern California for her whole works and backing up the cultural Arabic life. (2009)

4-      Prestige Magazinein (LA) 2008

5-      Ambassadors for peace for her supporting the religious freedom, democracy, human rights  and national solidarity in her works and activities.