Mazen Maarouf

Mazen Maarouf (1978) is a writer, poet, translator and journalist. Born in Beirut to a family of Palestinian refugees who had to flee Tal El-Zaatar in the beginning of Lebanese civil war, Maarouf holds a bachelor degree in General Chemistry from the Lebanese University (Faculty of Sciences). He worked for several years as a Chemistry and Physics teacher before drifting into the literary field in 2008. After a successful debut with his short story collection Jokes for the Gunmen he published a second (also successful) collection called Rats that Licked the Karate Champion's Ear.

He has also published three collections of poetry: The Camera Doesn’t Capture Birds, Our Grief Resembles Bread and An Angel Suspended On a Clothesline (2012), which has been translated into several languages including French and Icelandic. A selection of his poems was translated into several languages including German, Spanish, Swedish, Chinese, Maltese, Urdo and Malay. His work is currently being translated into English by Kareem James Abu-Zeid and Nathalie Handal. In 2014 he won the Literaturlana Poetry Prize.

He has written for various Arabic magazines and newspapers namely Al-Hayat (Beirut, London) An-Nahar, Assafir, Al-Mustaqbal, Kalimat Cultural Supplement (Beirut), Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed (London), Al-Ayyam (West Bank), Al-Quds-el-Arabi (London), Kika (London), Jasad Magazine (Beirut) and Qantara (Paris).


He has translated into Arabic a selection of short stories by international writers, as well as number of Icelandic poets and the following novels: The Blue Fox (Sjón), Hands of my Father (Myron Uhlberg), The Story of the Blue Planet (Andri Snær Magnason), Dwarfstone (Aðalsteinn Ásberg), Flowers on the Roof (Ingibjörg Sigurðardóttir) and Fido (Brian Pilkington).

His story 'BOXES' was included in Beirut Noir published by Akashic Books USA.


He currently lives between Reykjavik and Beirut.

Anthologies featuring Mazen Maarouf

Palestine + 100

Palestine + 100 poses a question to contemporary Palestinian writers: what might your home city look like in the year 2048 – exactly 100 years after Nakba, the displacement of more than 700,000 people after the Israeli War of Independence?