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Said Khatibi was born in 1984 in Bou Saada, Algeria. He has worked as a cultural journalist since 2006, and writes in both Arabic and French. His Arabic works include The Book of Sins (2013), The inflamed Gardens of the East (2015) excerpted above, Forty Years Waiting for Isabelle (2016) for which he won the Katara Award for the Novel, and Sarajevo’s Firewood (2018). His translations include Kateb Yacine’s poetry collection Loin de Nedjma.