For biographies of all 39 authors represented in Beirut 39 see the Hay Festival website.
Samuel Shimon, editor of Beirut 39 was born into an Assyrian family in 1956 in Al-Habbaniyah, Iraq. In 1979 he left his country with the dream of becoming a Hollywood director, and lived in Damascus, Amman, Beirut, Nicosia, Aden, Cairo, Tunis. In 1985 he settled in Paris, where he started the small press Gilgamesh Editions.
In 1996 he moved to London, where he has lived ever since. There he co-founded Banipal magazine, and is currently its Assistant Editor, and is the founder editor of the most popular literary website in Arabic www.kikah.com.
In 2000, he and Margaret Obank (co-founder and editor of Banipal) edited A Crack in the Wall, poems by sixty contemporary Arab poets. His autobiographical novel An Iraqi in Paris, was published in 2005. The Arab press described it as "unique in Arabic language - reminds us of Henry Miller" and "one of the gems of autobiographical writings in the modern period - the era of the image and the revolution of the spectacle", and "a manifesto of tolerance". His most recent work is the collection of short stories, Beirut 39, published in 2010.
This biography was last updated on 07/22/2010.
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