Writer and essayist Amin Maalouf was born on February 25th 1949, in Beirut, Lebanon.
His family background is quite diverse: his mother was born in Egypt, with family emanating from Turkey, and his father was from the Melkite Greek Catholic community in Lebanon. It is likely that his writings are influenced from his nomadic and multiethnic familial history.
His works mainly deal with the question of belonging, origin, and identity - in his case, toeing the line of being of Arab origin in the Western world, and being a Christian in the Arab world. The long Lebanese Civil War forced him to flee his home country.
Based on historical fiction, Maalouf's stories find protagonists traveling between places, cultures, languages, and religions.
"Isn't it a characteristic of the age we live in that it has made everyone in a way a migrant and a member of a minority?"
"What makes me myself rather than anyone else is the very fact that I am poised between two countries, two or three languages, and several cultural traditions. It is precisely this that defines my identity."