Mazen Maarouf is a Palestinian-Icelandic writer, poet, translator and journalist. Born in Beirut to a family of Palestinian refugees who had to flee Tal El-Zaatar in the begining 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 himself in 2008 into the literary field.
He has published three collections of poetry: “The Camera Doesn’t Capture Birds” (1st edition Ed. Al-Anwar 2004, 2nd edition Ed. Al-Kamel 2010), “Our Grief Resembles Bread” (Ed. Al-Farabi 2000), and “An Angel Suspended On a Clothesline” (Ed. Riad El-Rayyes 2012), which has been translated into several languages including French under the title “Un Ange Sur une Corde à Linge“ (L’Amandier Poésie, 2013, translated by Samira Negrouche) and Icelandic under the title “Ekkert Nema Strokleður” (Dimma, 2013, translated By Aðalsteinn Ásberg, Sjón and Kári Tulinius). 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.
Maarouf has recently published his first short story collection titled “Jokes for the Gunmen“ (Ed. Riad El-Rayyes 2015) that received quite positive feebacks from readers and the press reviews over the Middle East.
Maarouf has read in festivals, universities, museums and cultural centers in Europe, United States, China and the Middle East.
He has written literary reviews, and theatre and art critique 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).
He curretly lives between Reykjavik and Beirut.
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