Mauritanian writer and journalist Ahmed Isselmou was born in Nema in east Mauritania. His published works include the short story collection Awaiting the Past (Arab Scientific Publishers, Beirut) and the novel Perforated Life (Dar El-Shorouk, Cairo, 2020), and his second novel, Outsider Mode (Dar Al Adab, Beirut), will appear later this year. His short story “Floating Paper” won the Stories on Air competition organized by the Kuwaiti magazine Al-Arabi and BBC Arabic in 2009. Formerly a news producer for both Al-Arabiya and Al Aan television and the deputy chief editor at Russia Today, he now works in Qatar as an assistant program editor at Al Jazeera in Qatar.
Katharine Halls is an Arabic-to-English translator. She was awarded a 2021 PEN/Heim Translation Fund Grant for her translation of Haytham El-Wardany's Things That Can’t Be Fixed and her translation, with Adam Talib, of Raja Alem’s The Dove’s Necklace received the 2017 Sheikh Hamad Award and was shortlisted for the Saif Ghobash Banipal Prize. Her translations for the stage have been performed at the Royal Court and the Edinburgh Festival.