Literature and Culture: David Greig’s Play Damascus as a an Example for the Clash and between Western and Eastern Cultures

Dr. Insaf Abbas

The relations between the East and the West are very old and have been hostile at many times. There are a lot of misconceptions and misunderstandings that envelop the views each side has about the other. Damascus is an interesting play for David Greig which deals with these views. It presents some of these misconceptions and the vast cultural over generalizations that each side makes about the other. Greig in his play explains that he is handling this issue for the sake of producing more understanding between the two cultures. Through the exposure of Paul ,the Scottish author of English textbooks to be used as a syllabus for Syrian students, to the eastern culture, the gaps between the two cultures are highlighted. Nevertheless, some understanding occurs as a result. The possibilities of having a multicultural syllabus are also challenged. This study tries to discuss to what extent Grieg succeeded in presenting the two views and in reducing the misunderstanding between them. It also tries to show whether Greig was able to erase some of the misconceptions the west has about eastern culture or ironically speaking he ended up creating more provocative and negative ideas in presenting the Arab culture.