In 1959, at 18 years of age, Sadallah Wannous received his Baccalaureate degree in Tartus, Syria, and then headed for Egypt to study Journalism at Cairo University. During his stay in Egypt, he became interested specifically in theater, voraciously reading works by European and American playwrights. His readings included plays in existentialist traditions and the theater of the absurd; he was also attracted to critical literature about theater.
Sa'dallah Wannous, famed Syrian playwright, was chosen to deliver the keynote speech celebrating the International Day of Theater. His speech was distributed and read in all world theaters on March 7, 1996. Wannous chose as his theme the "Hunger for Dialogue," a discussion he feels "starts on theater, than roams vastly, growing until it encompasses the world in all its different peoples and diverse cultures."
Selected by UNESCO and the International Institute of Theater, the Syrian playwright Sa'dallah Wannous presented this year's address to the world theater community during its celebration of International Theater Day on March 27. This was the first selection of an Arab writer since the organization started this tradition in 1963, indicating the organization's recognition of the Syrian playwright's achievements, and those of Arabic theater in general.