Born in 1982 in Kuwait, Mortada Gzar is an Iraqi novelist, filmmaker, and visual artist currently based in the United States. Gzar grew up in Basra, Iraq, and earned a petroleum engineering degree from the University of Baghdad.
Gzar has written many short stories and four novels, beginning with Computopia, Zero One in 2006. He then published Broom of Paradise (2008), Sayyid Asghar Akbar (2013), and My Beautiful Cult (2016), which were widely praised in the Arab world, as well as in academic spheres.
In 2016, Gzar was a resident at the Iowa International Writing Program. He continued his writing journey in the United States with his memoir, I’m in Seattle, Where Are You? A Memoir, published in English translation in 2021. This text, recalling Gzar’s move to Seattle in search of a man he loved while in Basra, as well as his own experiences growing up as a gay man in Iraq, was very well received in the US, earning a Pen America Translation Prize longlisting in 2022. The original Arabic text has not yet been published. In addition to his novels, Gzar has written, directed, and produced films that have screened at international festivals, including an animated short film, Language, which won the Doha Film Award. He also founded the Seattle Arab Film Festival in 2018.
Hiw Twitter account (in English): twitter.com