The famous Syrian writer Khaled Khalifa has died

Khaled Khalifa / Photo: Profimedia

The Syrian writer Khaled Khalifa, the author of several novels that made him one of the most famous contemporary writers in his country, died Saturday night in Damascus, of heart disease, at the age of 59.

As the foremost chronicler of Syria's devastating civil war, this Aleppo-born novelist never left his homeland.

"I'm staying because it's my country." I was born here, I want to die here," he said in a 2019 interview.

He rose to fame with his third novel In Praise of Hatred, which was nominated for the International Award for Best Arabic Novel in 2008 and the International Independent Fiction Award in 2013. The novel has been translated into several languages.

In 2013 he received the prestigious Naguib Mahfouz Award from the American University in Cairo and in 2014 he was nominated for the International Arabic Novel Award for his fourth novel, No Knives in the Kitchens of This City.

The 2016 novel Death Is Hard Work, a dark narrative of the Syrian tragedy, was among the finalists for the 2019 US National Book Award in the category of Fiction Translated into English.

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