Kadhim Al-Hallaq, pen name of Kadhim Joni Mahdi, was born in Basra, Iraq. A fiction writer, he was jailed in 1991 for speaking against the government and jailed again in 1994 for his involvement with a literary group. On release from prison, he fled via Jordan and Saudi Arabia to the United States where he was granted refugee status.

His short stories and non-fiction have been published in Arabic literary journals, and a first collection of short stories (“Shadow of Sleepiness") was published in 1997 in Damascus, Syria.  His Arabic translations of Deepak Chopra’s “Seven Spiritual Laws of Success” and Piero Perrucci’s “What We May Be” are in the process of being published, as is a new collection of very short stories called “The Telescope.”

He now lives in Phoenix, Arizona and supports himself as a barber while trying to finish a novel.  In 2000 he received the Hellman-Hammett Grant, awarded to writers persecuted in their home countries

Contributor's Issues

Banipal 38 - Arab American Authors (2010)