Zakaria Tamer was born in 1931 in Damascus. He left school at thirteen to help support his family, and subsequently educated himself. He has written in a variety of forms, from satirical newspaper columns to children’s books, but the genre for which he is best known is al-qissa al-qasira jjiddan, the very short story. A former editor of al-Ma’rifa, a magazine published by the culture ministry, he was fired in 1980 for publishing pro-freedom content. He exiled himself from Syria and immigrated to the UK, where he lives today.