Nihad Sirees is a civil engineer who was born in Aleppo. His novels include Cancer, The North Winds, A Case of Passion, and The Silence and the Roar. Of his many television dramas the most widely acclaimed, Silk Market, set in Aleppo during the political turmoil of the 1950s, was shown throughout the Middle East, in Germany and in Australia. His latest series, Al Khait Al Abiadh (The First Gleam of Dawn), provides a frank depiction of the country’s government-controlled media. After increasing surveillance and pressure from the Syrian government, Nihad Sirees left Syria in 2012. He was at Brown University in the US on an International Writers Fellowship from 2012 - 2013.