Youssef Rakha was born on 12 June 1976 in Cairo. He has a first class BA Hons in English and Philosophy (Hull University, UK, 1998) and was awarded the Larkin Prize for English and the Chris Ayers Prize for Philosophy. Since the early 1990s he has contributed many articles and translations to the Arabic press, and is presently senior writer/copy editor for the English-language Al-Ahram Weekly. He has one collection of short stories (Dar Sharqiyat, 1999) and two travel books, including Beirut, some place, Amkena Books, 2006, and one novel. In October 2009 he was selected as one of the 39 authors of the Beirut39 project.