Gladys Matar (جلاديس مطر) was born in Lattakia in 1962. She graduated in 1984 in French literature from Tishreen University, Lattakia.She has four collections of short stories and one novel and two books of essays.
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 for a short story in Syria.
In 1984 her short story “Who Would Bring Aiisha Back Her Toy” won the prestigious Arab Woman Magazine’s first prize 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.
Upon returning home she published her first book, “Awaiting the Limestone to Flourish,” with an introduction by renowned author Adel Abou-Shanab. This seminal work was republished in 1989 by Nofal Publishing House in Beirut, Lebanon.
From 1989 right on through to 2006, she published in volume. Her works included “Fleeting Joy,” a collection of short stories, and “Off Beat,” a collection of articles on the arts.
These were followed by “Love, Sized for the World” another collection of short stories offered by Nofal Publishing House as a first in a series of books targeting middle school students. This work was eventually adopted as required reading by the Ministry of Education and Higher Education of Lebanon. The introduction to this book and its enriching quizzes at the end of each chapter that test a comprehension, were contributed by Antoine Toomey, PhD, one of Lebanon’s top education specialists.
In 2001, publisher Ward House in Damascus, Syria produced Ms. Matar’s “Velvet Revolution,” a work of fiction that was widely distributed and attracted critical acclaim. The book featured an introduction by renowned Moroccan author and thinker, Fatima Almarnisi, as a novel dealing with “how an Arab relates to his past.”
In 2003, Al-Hiwar House in Latakia published “Dormant Desire,” Ms. Matar’s purely political work, in which she probed the strange world of the major players in the Middle East political scene.
In her “Behind The Veil Of Femininity,” Ms. Matar delved into the mind of Arab women. This work, published by Ward House, is currently in production. It features an introduction by Abdel-Kabir Alminawi, Morocco’s renowned author and critic.
Gladys Matar routinely publishes numerous articles on literary critique and world politics in a multitude of Arabic publications and reputable literary websites. Her work appears regularly in Arab Panorama out of Los Angeles, California.
Ms. Matar has appeared in many exclusive radio and television interviews across the Arab World.
She is fluent in both English and French, in addition to Arabic - her mother tongue.