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was born in 1951 in the village of Tir near Homs, central Syria. He published two collections of poetry, You Are Not Alone (Beirut, 1979), and Golsorkhi (1981), before his arrest in 1987 for his political affiliations and imprisonment without trial until 1993 when he was sentenced to fifteen years’ hard labour for belonging to an unauthorized political association. He was eventually released in 2000 after an international campaign. In 1997 friends published a small collection of his poetry Dove in Free Flight. Bayraqdar was the winner of the 1998 Hellman-Hammet Award, the 1999 International PEN Award from PEN American Center West, and the 2004 Free Word Award from NOVIB, in the Netherlands. After his release he published Asian Recitals (Damascus 2001). Selected poems, translated by the New York Translation Collective, and an interview by Muhammad Ali Atassi introduced by Elias Khoury, were published in Los Angeles in 2004 by Beyond Baroque Press.