I write to connect the Arab with Western world blending spirituality with practicality.
Author of three novels “28 Mansions of the Moon” and “Tunnel Twelve” and “The Pigeon Whisperer”. MFA and MA holder. Educator. A story-storyteller. Motaz’s writing aim to connect the Arab world with the western world, trying to find the balance between spirituality and practicality. His characters, like himself are dreamers. They are always seeking inner-peace, and a place to call home. They are mysterious and sometimes unpredictable.
When you visit a body of water as a child, you remember a giant lake. Upon returning as an adult, you discover that it is merely a pond. Yet, when an airplane launches into the sky, even huge lakes shrink to become ponds.
In my early childhood, I watched the tv flicker, playing a Syrian series The End of a Brave Man, adapted from a novel by the Syrian author Henna Mina. As the story progressed, I lived it within myself, bit by bit, experiencing the narrative with its characters—with them I dreamed, cried, failed, overcame, provoked, defied and obsessed. This marked the beginning of my love for screenwriting and storytelling.
Seven years ago, I decided to take up running. I inserted my headphones, stood on the asphalt, and took my first step. I failed to run a full mile. I was devastated. Returning home, exhausted, all I could do was cry. However, the next day, I tried again, and the pain I had experienced lessened slightly. I had improved only a tiny bit. But with time and consistent effort and hard work, I transformed my self into a runner. This pain has taught me an important lesson; nothing ever comes to you easily… including writing.
Over the years, I learned that dreams are usually accompanied by tears—but also with hard work that pays off. For six years, I never quit running or dreaming. When I discovered I wanted to be a writer, I approached my new goal in the same way.
This love of storytelling began at the age of seventeen through falling in love with poetry, inspired by the romantic Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani. His book was graciously perched on the couch, waiting for me to pick it up. Beautiful and simple, his words struck the very core of my being, enchanting my mind and capturing my emotions.
I learned that to become a good writer, one needed to sweat—and oh how much did I toil, laboured and perspired. I experienced the same feeling I first had when I started running—devastation, failure and wanting to give up. I spent hours daily, staring into the emptiness of the white pages. I learned that failure encourages reiteration, and repeated efforts helped me avoid short-term victories and helped me aim to reach long-term successes in the form of good content and quality stories.
Despite the exhaustion of working a full-time job, I returned home, brewed my cup of coffee, sat down and wrote for hours at a time. I became more skilled—the progress was gradual. I realised that as a screenwriter, I could never reach perfection. I dreamt of fictitious worlds, three-dimensional characters, and swelling emotions. I let the words fill the empty pages, diving into the characters’ unique universe. I often forgot myself, lost in the story, almost unaware of the fact that I was writing it, not living it.
I had earned my way into a world of vivid imagination and fascination. From that point on, I was enthralled.