Samuel Shimon was born into an Assyrian family in Al-Habbaniyah, Iraq, in 1956. He left his country in 1979, with the dream of becoming a Hollywood director, and has since lived in Damascus, Amman, Beirut, Nicosia, Aden, Cairo, Tunis and Paris. In Paris, he settled for the next decade as a refugee, and started the small press Gilgamesh Editions. In 1996, Shimon moved to London where he lives today. He is the co-founder and assistant editor of Banipal magazine, and creator of kikah.com, an online journal of Arab culture. His first novel, the autobiographical An Iraqi in Paris, was published in 2005, long-listed for the 2007 IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, and nominated for the long list of the 2006 Lettre Ulysses Award for the Art of Literary Reportage.