Ahmed Naji, born in Mansoura, Egypt (1985), began his writing career when he created his first literary blog in 2005. After studying journalism, he worked as an editor at the state-owned literary weekly Akhbar al-adab and published his first novel in 2007. In February 2016 he was sentenced to two years of jail after a chapter of his second novel Istikhdam al-hayat (The Use of Life, 2014) was reprinted in Akhbar al-adab. It was the first case in Egypt of a writer being imprisoned for offending public morality in a work of fiction. His case received widespread attention and the support of many renowned writers. He was given the PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award while still in prison. After his release and the lifting of a two-year travel ban he moved to the United States in 2018, where he reunited with his wife. He is currently a fellow at the Black Mountain Institute (University of Nevada, Las Vegas). Since his release, he has published a collection of short stories (2017), a prison memoir (2020), and two other novels (2020, 2023) and he is a regular contributor to several online cultural magazines in Arabic and English.
His website (in English): ahmednaji.net
His Twitter account (in Arabic): twitter.com