Born in the eastern countryside of the Syrian province of Raqqa, the erstwhile capital of ISIS, Musa Al-Halool has been a professor of English and Comparative Literature at Taif University, Saudi Arabia, since 2002. He is also a well-known and prolific literary translator in the Arab world with nearly forty titles to his name. He traveled to the United States in 1989 on a Fulbright scholarship, where he obtained his MA and PhD in Comparative Literature from Penn State University in 1991 and 1995.
After returning to Syria, Musa Al-Halool taught at Tishreen University for four years before leaving for Jordan, where he taught for three years, and from there to Saudi Arabia. In 2016, ISIS declared him an “apostate” and requisitioned both his country house and in-town villa in Raqqa. He has taught English and American literature.
It was in Jordan that Musa Al-Halool started writing short stories and poems in English. Afterward, he began writing in Arabic. He depicts ordinary folk with sympathy. His targets in government and the crony government economy, the corrupt, the arrogant, the mediocre, and the sycophantic—he skewers. Musa Al-Halool's translations include White Carnations by the distinguished Syrian novelist and academic Musa Rahman Abbas (co-translated with Dr Sanna Dhahir), Cune Press 2021.
Select Books by Musa Al-Halool Anguished Arabic (criticism in Arabic) From the Herb of Burzoy to the Serpent of Gilgamesh: Reflections on Literary Translation. (translation criticism in Arabic) Exodus to Istanbul (travelogue in Arabic) Literary Translation: Practical Applications in Translating Prose (a bilingual textbook) A New Grammar for the New World Order (poems and short stories in English) Bellwetheristan (a collection of short stories in Arabic)
The collection of short stories harkens back to such classic authors like Franz Kafka, George Orwell, William Golding, Kurt Vonnegut Jr., Aldous Huxley, Ray Bradbury and Anthony Burgess.
The Dusk Visitor is a warning from the Middle East: We are Next. TheDusk Visitor is one of the few works of literature by a Syrian on the subject of the Syrian Civil War, the Assad government, and the authoritarian style of other Arab dictators.