Short story author, researcher, proofreader, copy editor, and certified translator

Dr. Zaher Alajlani, Ph.D., is a Syrian short-story author, researcher, and translator living between Romania and Greece. He has three short story collections in English and one in Arabic. His short stories and articles have appeared in various publications, including The Infinite Sky, Revista Echinox, Active Muse, Bandit Fiction, Visible Magazine, Ariel Chart, Agape Review, The Way Back to Ourselves, Wellerism, Altered Reality, The Journal of Romanian Literary Studies, Metacritic Journal for Comparative Studies and Theory, The Experimental Museum of Literature in Greece, Masharif, and Tadween.

In 2022, his short story, "Veorica," was nominated for the Pushcart Prize by The Way Back to Ourselves.

Zaher is a member of the Association of Fiction Creators in Romania (Asociatia-Creatorilor de Fictiune) and the Panhellenic Association of Translators. He is a prose editor for Agape Review and a proofreader for the peer-reviewed Metacritic Journal for Comparative Studies and Theory. He was previously a prose submission reader for Bandit Fiction.

He holds a BA in English Literature and Language from Damascus University; an MA in English Culture, Literature, and Ideology from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens; an MA in Communication from the University of Indianapolis, and a Ph.D. in literature from Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

Zaher speaks English, Arabic, Romanian, and Greek.


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Professional Arabic-English and English-Arabic academic, legal, and commercial translation. Depending on the text, my rate ranges from 0.06 EUR to 0.09 EUR per word. Greek-Arabic and Arabic-Greek translation can also be provided at a minimum rate of 0.14 per word.

Proofreading and Copy Editing

Fiction and nonfiction. Depending on the text, my rate ranges from 0.01 EUR to 0.02 EUR per word. No poetry.

Content Creation

Professional content creation services in Arabic, English, and Greek. The price is calculated per project.

The Lady Behind the Glass Wall

There was much more than that glass wall between us: society and the illusion of a good life. Every morning, for a year, I’d see her face. She’d stand behind the glass wall of my office and glance at me, her caramel-brown hair in a tight ponytail and her petite body in a drab white-and-black uniform.

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Now She Dreams of War

When an individual acts upon his most evil impulses, we call that a crime. But when the deluded masses do the same, we call that war, Rania pondered as she stared out the window.

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Those Beneath Damascus

There is something ominous about Damascus, something that I couldn’t describe as the inexperienced, young occasional visitor I had been before my ordeal.

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There was nothing extraordinary about it. It was like any other white-walled room in an assisted living facility. The furniture was minimal: single size bed, dresser, coffee table, and two chairs. I sat on the one facing him, placed the voice recorder on his side of the table past the glass of water in the middle, and pressed the button. The small red light began flashing.

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The flickering light in this cell does not annoy me, not even in the slightest. Neither does the sense of impending doom, nor do the distant cries of the condemned. The scratches left on the filthy walls haunt my eyes wherever they roam. But I seem immune to such misery, for in such hard existence I feel most delighted. And only in opposition to all that is deemed joyful can I truly know who I am.

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On the Bank of Someșul Mic

There is nothing that I find more repulsive than the dirty, melting snow on the sidewalks of Cluj-Napoca. People say that my dislike is rather peculiar, but to me, this unsightly scene, which becomes more frequent by the end of March, reflects the duality within the city.

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1382: A Manuscript Found in a Pit in The Hoia Forest

Hell has long been my dwelling. My soul was born hovering above the fine line that separates dreams from reality—if the latter truly exists. It is rather tragic that our waking state has been regarded as the single most in which the real is experienced, while all we see in our slumber is derided as “unreal.”

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Aziz the Idiot

The summer sun of Cluj-Napoca shone upon the suburb of Gheorgheni. Tall trees stood proudly in the green spaces between apartment blocks while red and white roses adorned the front yards of the few detached houses. Nothing ruined that scene but the sight of three open dumpsters bulging out of the nearby doorless lean-to shed whose outer walls had retained very little of their original white color and were now covered by a layer of dirt and mold.

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Mission Possible: Intercultural Communication and the Quest for Finding Shared Meaning

Alajlani, Zaher. “Mission Possible: Intercultural Communication and the Quest for Finding Shared Meaning”. Metacritic Journal for Comparative Studies and Theory, 7.2 (2021). Doi:

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Cultural Schizophrenia and Rebellion in Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus

Alajlani, Zaher. “Cultural Schizophrenia and Rebellion in Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus.” Journal of Romanian Literary Studies, vol. 19, no. 19/2019, Nov. 2019, pp. 890–896.

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A Prediction of Ruin: Self-Fulfilling Prophecy as Plot Device in Poe’s "The Tell-Tale Heart"

Alajlani, Zaher. “A Prediction of Ruin: Self-Fulfilling Prophecy as Plot Device in Poe’s ‘The Tell-Tale Heart.’” Journal of Romanian Literary Studies, vol. 20, no. 20/2020, Feb. 2020, pp. 677–682.

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Kimberly Phinney (Editor and Poet)
Blurb of Now She Dreams of War and Other Stories from Transylvania (Exp. 2023)

Zaher Alajlani’s short stories are both haunting and exalting. In one breath, he dashes you to an existential dread, and in another, he sings with you about the fleeting beauties of life: the passion of young love, a long drink of good wine, and realization of unfettered dreams. Zaher’s take on modern Gothicism is a voice all his own, and the tales he spins have a way of staying with you long after you’ve read them. I highly recommend his latest tales.

Prof. Mihaela Ursa (Ph.D.)
Blurb of On the Bank of Someșul Mic and Other Stories (2022)

Zaher Alajlani's stories beautifully counterbalance realist prose writing with the darkness and violence of fantasy outbursts. Present-day places and events (Romanian everyday life, the COVID pandemic) become a background for social and moral debates, but mostly the receptacle where difference, irregularity, and monstrosity activate. On the Bank of Someșul Mic and Other Stories includes tales that are very often ignited by a main character watching things from a safe and rational distance, only to plunge headfirst into a parallel reality: dream, hallucination, nightmares, or possible time loops. Tradition, routine, customs, and habits are thoroughly interrogated in a skeptical light, which makes a most unlikely and surprising pair with magic and the irrational in these noir narratives. Alajlani's stories are not to be missed.

Prof. Laura T. Ilea (Ph.D.)
From the foreword of the revised edition of In Death Veritas and Other Stories (2014/2023)

Like an unleashed creator that cannot protect his creation from his own blasphemous imprecation, Zaher Alajlani explores, with a dark pathos, worlds that exist at the border of psychic derangement and the need of ablution, worlds that could lead him to finally find an exit. The volume In Death Veritas seems to belong to an author who, for the time being, cannot find his peace in words and who keeps exploring the temptation of madness, hoping that the world he creates will eventually coagulate through a redemptive act.

Dr. Riad Ismat, Ph.D. (1947-2020)
Blurb of Vera and Other Stories (2015)

Zaher Alajlani is a compelling, new voice in the short-story realm. A devotee of realism, Alajlani reminds readers at almost every turn that the genre is not dead, nor is it the least bit dated. Alajlani takes his inspiration from such muses as Somerset Maugham, Italo Calvino and Saki- among other, great short-story icons of the 20th century. Though he is Syrian by birth, Alajlani’s tales deftly conjure-up the ambiance of Athens and Moscow in a powerfully-appealing, ever-natural tapestry. He is especially capable of depicting 'underdog' characters—those largely barren souls clawing desperately to survive fetid urban jungles or squalid psychiatric asylums- with a beauteous compassion. The smallest of incidents are enough to motivate him to plunge deeply into human nature. His riveting characters, torn by desire, distress and despair, find salvation only through true love. They subjugate lustful instincts in favor of the spiritual, regardless of morals and social class. Alajlani portrays everyday existence in a relentless subdued style, avoiding whatever urges he may harbor to summon-up artistic conventions- those dramatic and imaginative story-telling techniques. Readers will find the method intriguing or disappointing. This is of no concern to Alajlani whose unswerving fealty is to a truth absent all embellishment.

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Dr. Zaher Alajlani, Ph.D., este un autor de proză scurtă, cercetător și traducător de origine siriană, stabilit in Cluj-Napoca, România. Articolele și textele sale de proză scurtă au apărut în publicații din România, Grecia, Regatul Unit, Statele Unite ale, India, Tunisia, Iraq și Siria.

Este autorul cărților In Death Veritas (2014), Vera and Other Stories (2015), Death to the Desert (2018) și On the Bank of Somesul Mic and Other Stories (2022).

In 2022, “Veorica,” proza scurta in engleza a lui bazată în Cluj-Napoca, a fost nominată pentru Pushcart Prize de carte The Way Back to Ourselves Literary Journal din SUA.

Zaher este licențiat în Limbă și Literatură Engleză la Universitatea din Damasc, are un masterat în Cultură, Literatură și Ideologie Engleză la Universitatea Națională și Capodistriană din Atena, un al doilea masterat, în Comunicare, la Universitatea din Indianapolis, și un certificat de învățare la distanță în Psihologie de la Universitatea Staffordshire.

Zaher are un Ph.D. in literatură comparată din Universitatea Babeș-Bolyai din Cluj-Napoca. Teza a lui cercetează arhetip savantul nebun in patru romane (inclusiv Castelul din Carpați și Frankenstein) și discută conflictul între religie și știință în secolul 19. Zaher este corector al publicației Metacritic Journal for Comparative Studies and Theory (România), precum și editor de ficțiune la Agape Review (USA).

Zaher este fondator și redactor-șef de Matia Press (
الدكتور زاهر شمس الدين العجلاني كاتب قصصي ومترجم وباحث سوري مقيم بين رومانيا واليونان. يكتب العجلاني بشكلٍ أساسي باللغة الإنكليزية، وتم نشر قصصه القصيرة ومقالاته في العديد من المواقع والمجلات الأدبية في الولايات المتحدة الأميركية، وبريطانيا، ورمانيا، واليونان، والهند، والفيليبين. في كانون الأول 2022، تم ترشيح قصته القصيرة باللغة الإنكليزية "فيوريكا" لجائزة الـ Pushcart الأدبية.

لدى العجلاني ثلاث مجموعات قصصية منشورة باللغة الإنكليزية ومجموعة قصصية باللغة العربية.

العجلاني حاصل على شهادة الدكتوراه في الأدب من قسم الأدب المقارن في جامعة بابيش_بوياي في كلوج-نابوكا، رومانيا؛ وعلى شهادة الماجستير في الأدب والثقافة والأيديولوجيا الإنكليزية من جامعة أثينا الكابودسترية الوطنية في اليونان؛ وعلى شهادة الماجستير في التواصل من جامعة إنديانابوليس الأمريكية (أثينا)؛ وعلى شهادة في علم النفس في التواصل من جامعة ستافوردشير البريطانية؛ وعلى شهادة البكالوريوس في اللغة الإنكليزية وآدابها من جامعة دمشق.

يعمل العجلاني كمحرر للنصوص الأدبية ومنقح باللغة الإنكليزية مع مجلات في الولايات المتحدة ورومانيا. العجلاني عضو في اتحاد المترجمين في اليونان، وعضو في اتحاد صانعي الأدب في رومانيا.

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