Samuel Shimon


Samuel Shimon was born into an Assyrian family in 1956 in Al-Habbaniyah, Iraq. He left Iraq in 1979 to go to Hollywood and become a film-maker, and got as far as Damascus, Amman, Beirut, Nicosia, Cairo and 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. He co-founded Banipal magazine, and is currently its Assistant Editor. In 2000, he and Margaret Obank (co-founder and editor of Banipal) edited A Crack in the Wall, poems by sixty contemporary Arab poets. He has published two collection of poetry in Arabic in 1987 and 1995. His autobiographical novel An Iraqi in Paris, was published in Arabic (translated into English, French and Swedish). 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". The Times Literary Supplement described it as "a powerful book" and The Independent as an Arabic answer to Miller's Tropic of Cancer." Samuel is the founder editor of the most popular literary website in Arabic A profile in the Frankfurter Allegemeine Zeitung in 2003 described him as "the Initiator" and "a tireless missionary for literary matters".