Khaled Khalifa was born in 1964, in a village close to Aleppo, Syria. He is the fifth child of a family of thirteen siblings. He studied law at Aleppo University and actively participated in the foundation of Aleph magazine with a group of writers and poets. A few months later, the magazine was closed down by Syrian censorship. He currently lives in Damascus where he writes scripts for cinema and television. Khalifa’s In Praise of Hatred – published secretly in Damascus and banned forty days later – was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2008. Set in and around 1980s Aleppo, the story unpicks a life lived under dictatorship and loudly echoes the violence across the Middle East and the Arab world over the past two years.
In Praise of Hatred is longlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize 2013. It is published by Doubleday in the UK and has just been released in paperback by Black Swan.
Khalifa took part in Beirut39 and is a participant of the 2013 Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival.