The Guardian has an obit of Syrian poet and playwright Mamdouh Udwan.
Mamdouh’s work combines humour and tragedy. He was ferocious in his denunciation of corruption and despotism. He broke away from stereotyping Jews. In My Enemies they laugh and weep rather than threaten and fight. In this historical novel there is always a message for the present. His language was simple and direct and he was an enemy of official cant, “cruel dreams coupled with cruel bread”, as he put it in one of his poems. His plays present the dilemmas of contemporary citizens. One play, The Mask, has been performed in English, and explores the situation of a 30-something Damascus career girl living alone.