Kamal Riahi (1974) is a Tunisian writer and literary critic. He teaches writing in Algiers and serves as the director of Tunisia’s cultural city. Riahi worked as a cultural and literary correspondent, and presented cultural programs on television and radio in and outside Tunisia. He has published two short stories collections and four novels. He was one of the 39 Arab writers under 40 years who were selected for the anthology Beirut39. He also won many awards, including the Golden Kumar for his book “The scalpel of surgeons” (2006), the Ibn Battuta International Prize for Travel Literature (2018) and the Academy Award for Best Cultural Program in Tunisia in 2015.


Saleem Albeik is Palestinian writer from Tarshiha and the Palestinian camps in Syria, was born in Abu Dhabi in 1982 and now lives in Paris. He is the author of the novels, Scenario (2019), and Two Tickets to Saffuriyah (2017), the poetry collection, Nothing On You But Water (2015), the short story collection, Cherries, or Red Fruit for Cheesecake (2011) – which won the Qattan Foundation Young Writer Award – and the prose collection, Sins of a Refugee (2008). Albeik edits the cultural magazine, Romman, and writes essays, criticism and film reviews.

Waciny Laredj is an Algerian writer and academic, who was born in 1954 in the village of Sidi Boujnane. He is a Professor at the Sorbonne University in Paris and the Central University of Algeria, having settled in Paris in 1994.  Laredj is considered one of the most prominent writers in the Arab literary world today. He has written many novels dealing with Algeria’s history and its harsh upheavals. In recent years he has produced work on the tragedies of the Arab nation, questioning the sacred and static account of its history. His books are published in Arabic and French. Laredj is also a regular columnist for Al-Quds Al-Arabi. He has won a number of prizes for his work, including the Sheikh Zayed Prize for Literature in 2007. He has been longlisted for Arab book prize three times: in 2011 for The Andalusian House, in 2013 for Lolita’s Fingers, and in 2014 with Ashes of the East: the Wolf who Grew Up in the Wilderness. His book Mai: the nights of Isis Copia is nominated for the Arab booker prize of 2019.

Yusuf Idris was one of Egypt’s best-known playwrights, and author of short stories and novels. He was born in Faqous in 1927 and originally trained to be a doctor, studying at the University of Cairo. He began his literary career as a journalist and continued writing a newspaper column in Al-Ahram until his latest illness. He wrote realistic stories about ordinary and poor people. Many of his works are in the Egyptian vernacular, and he was considered a master of the short story. Idris sought to put the foundations of a modern Egyptian theater based on popular traditions and folklore. Idris wrote 9 plays and 11 collections of short stories, which were translated into 24 languages. His most famous short story collection is “Cheapest Nights.” His novels included “Al-Haram” (“The Forbidden”). It is known that he was nominated several times to win the Nobel prize for literature. He died in London in 1991.

Haji Jaber is an Eritrean writer born in the city Musawwa in 1976. Jaber has published four novels to date: Samwawit (2012). Marsa Fatma (2013 translated into Italian). The Loom Game – 2015 (a novel nominated to Sheikh Zayed Prize for Literature) and Black Foam (2018), nominated for the Arabic Book Prize 2019. Jaber’s creative work aim is shedding light on Eritrea in the past and present and to extricate his homeland from its cultural isolation.

Suhail Kiwan is a Palestinian author, playwright and journalist, born in 1956 in the village of Majd al-Krum in the Western Galilee. From 1998 to 2014 he worked as a literary editor for Al-Arabi newspaper. His political and literary essays appear regularly for many years in Al-Quds Al-Arabi newspaper, and in the website arab48.

Dr. Irada Al-Jubori is a novelist, academic and activist.  She is Assistant Professor and Associate Dean for Scientific Affairs at  the college of Mass Communication, University of Baghdad .. In addition to her teaching and research experiences, she has been working as a journalist and also creative writer, having published several short stories and scripts for documentary films. Al-Jubori was the Iraqi project manager for the Open Shutters Photography project which involved women from different regions and cities in Iraq and  a writer of a feminist program to AL MAHABA  radio – Baghdad  .  She was  a member of the Iraqiyat Centre for Women’s Studies in Baghdad between 2006-2008 .


Khalil Nasif is a Palestinian writer. He was born in Ramallah in 1977 and studied programming and network engineering at Al-Quds University. Nasif is a member of the Regional Disaster Response Team of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. He writes poetry and prose since 2007. He has published a collection of stories and a collection of poems in Amman, Jordan, and his first novel will be published in 2019 in Milan, Italy.


Abdel Aziz Baraka Sakin is a Sudanese writer. He was born in Kassala in 1963 and worked as a consultant for UNICEF in Darfur and as a project manager for the World Bank’s Community Development Fund. He has published many novels and collections of stories, and has been a member of the Sudanese Short Story Club and the Sudanese Writers Association. He won the BBC short story award in 1993. His novel al-Jango (2010) won the al-Tayyib Salih Prize, and was soon banned by the Sudanese government. In 2012 his books were confiscated and banned from the book fair in Khartoum. He lives in Austria and publishes his books in Cairo.

Raghad al-Suheil is an Iraqi writer. She is a doctor of microbiology and immunology and a lecturer in the Faculty of Science at the University of Baghdad. She is a member of the Iraqi Writers’ Union and has published 3 short story collections and a novel so far.