Thomas Aplin was born in England in 1979. He has a first class bachelors degree in Arabic and is currently pursuing a PhD on the Saudi novel at the University of Edinburgh. His love for contemporary Arabic fiction was kindled by the novels of the celebrated author, Abdelrahman Munif, which he read as an undergraduate during a year spent studying in Damascus. In addition to contributing to publications such as The Caravan, Banipal Magazine and the International Prize for Arabic Fiction (IPAF), Thomas is involved in a number of cultural projects across the Gulf region. Researching heritage traditions with a hope to promote their preservation, he has a particular interest in Nabati poetry and folktales.