Writer and publisher Samuel Shimon was born into a poor Assyrian family in Iraq in 1956. He left his country in 1979 to go to Hollywood and become a film-maker, travelling via Damascus, Amman, Beirut, Nicosia, Cairo and Tunis. In 1985 he settled in Paris as a refugee, before moving in 1996 to London, where he has lived ever since. He co-founded Banipal, the renowned international magazine of contemporary Arab literature in English translation and is the founder and editor of the popular literary website in Arabic www.kikah.com. He also edited Beirut 39: New Writing from the Arab World (2010). He is working now on his second novel The Militant Lingerie.