The following year he was accepted at the College of Education in Baghdad. He graduated four years later with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Education, enabling him to achieve the first goal of his life, to become a teacher.
He was ready for it. By age twenty-two he had read a sizeable sample of the great literature of several cultures and eras. He read original text in Arabic and English, and read translations of works from Russia, France, Germany and Italy. As a result he came to see the commonality of the human experience. Context aside, what differences are there between Ivan Turgenev and Somerset Maugham? Between George Amado and Charles Dickens, or between Ernest Hemingway and Graham Greene? The essence is the indomitable, though sometimes defeated and defiled, human spirit. Arthur Koestler, for example, addresses the same issues and deals with the same pain as do Aleksandre Solsentzyn, Andre Malraux and Albert Camus.
Three years of service as a teacher and an administrative assistant led to the next phase of his life. He started graduate study at the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) where he earned his Master’s and PhD degrees.
He has since worked in the field of education as an administrator first, and later as a professor of educational administration. The greater part of his service was in Lebanon and Bahrain, but he also enjoyed short assignments at universities in Canada, U.S. and Germany.
Cedar Mountain is his first novel. All his previous publications, books and research articles, were confined to his academic field. Like most authors, Nathir feels proud of all his works, but he is partial toward his novel. Academic works confine the author within the strict rules of the method of science, leaving little room for creativity and allowing no scope for free examination of the existential experience of ordinary men and women.
Cedar Mountain is a story of friendship and love; it is also a story of war and of people who show exceptional strength and courage, but they do so in many different ways. The war changes all of them, but they, too, knowingly and unknowingly change each other. There is tragedy, betrayal and death but there is also redemption and victory.