City of origin: Syria
Ciutat of refuge: Barcelona
Duration of period in refuge: 2015
Quddàs siriani, Thaurat hobb, hobb bitaam al-hurriya
Ugar is the sixth author in residence in Catalan PEN’s Writers In Refuge Programme, and the fourth to be resident in Barcelona. This Syrian poet had to leave his country as a consequence of his activism against the regime.
Of particular note in his political activism is his participation in the Damascus Declaration (2005) which brought together all the opposition groups to demand political reform from the government. He paid a high price for his political commitment and for publishing articles in opposition to the regime and was detained in 2006. He was not freed until four years later, in 2010. During his years in captivity, his case was followed by PEN International and other associations which fight for human rights. He has been a member of the now defunct Syrian Democratic Forum (2012 – 14) and also amongst the founding members of the Republican Party (2013).
Ugar is currently working on a digital project which it is hoped will become a forum in which to ask essayists and journalists to publish political, philosophical and cultural articles. He is also preparing a collection of articles and essays by different writers about the Syrian revolution, opposition and the regime and a book about his experience in prison.
Ugar has worked with various newspapers and magazines in the Arab-speaking world and has numerous volumes of poetry published. Of particular note amongst these is Quddàs siriani (Syrian Mass, 2003, Literary and poetic texts), Thaurat hobb, hobb bitaam al-hurriya (The Revolution of Love, Love with the Taste of Freedom) in the Watan wa thaura (Homeland And Revolution) editorial collection, founded by Ugar in 2013 in Beirut.