Eli Amir was born in Baghdad in 1937, and his family moved to Israel in 1951 alongside 20,000 other Jewish exiles. He served as special advisor to the Prime Minister, responsible for Arab affairs in east Jerusalem, and worked as a political columnist, lecturer, and member of the Israeli delegation on Palestinian refugee affairs. Amir has also been chairman of the public council of The Abraham Fund for Coexistence and Equality between Israeli Arabs and Jews.
His work has received many awards, including: the Yigal Alon prize for Outstanding Service to the Israeli Society (1997); Youth Immigration’s Jubilee Prize (1983); the Jewish Literature Prize (Mexico, 1985); the Ahi Award (1994); Am Oved’s Jubilee Prize (1994); the Book Publishers Association’s Platinum Prize (1998); and the Prime Minister’s Prize (2002). He has received Honorary Doctorates from the Weizmann Institute for Science, the Ben Gurion University and the Tel Aviv University.