Author Archives: Hamada Kassam


EDITOR’S NOTE: The following paper was originally on the program for the 8th International Conferences on the State of Mark Twain Studies, which took place this past August at Elmira College. Unfortunately, Hamada Kassam, a Syrian national who is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor at American University of Sharjah, was unable to present his paper in person, due to Executive Order 13769. While it is little compensation for his presence, we are proud to publish a slightly abridged version of his proposed presentation here. Read more…


In The Innocents Abroad (1869), Mark Twain’s first bestseller and one of the most successful travel narratives in American literature, the acclaimed young author singled out and celebrated Damascus in his descriptions of Syria. In 1867, as a 32-year-old reporter for The Daily Alta California embedded with the Quaker City pilgrims, Twain had visited the Middle Eastern country. Highlighting the paradisiacal aspect ascribed to Damascus throughout history, Twain recorded that: In March 2016 I travelled from Dubai to Hartford, Connecticut, Read more…

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