I am an Iraqi writer. I came to the USA in 1999, and I got political asylum. Since that time I have been living in Chicago, Illinois. I have written more than 20 novels and short story collections and hundreds of articles.
Some of my novels were destroyed by Iraqi regimes. I have won awards in Iraq, Egypt and the United States. I also have won awards for short stories, one in Iraq and the second in UAE. I worked in Iraq as a high school teacher teaching Arabic literature.
I was imprisoned six times between 1959 and 1980. I was dismissed from my job for three years, so I went to Morocco and I worked there as a high school teacher. I wrote about my last time in prison as a novel titled, “I am the one who saw.” This novel was translated to English by Dr. Ahmed Sadri (a professor at Lake Forrest College) and published in Al Saqi House publishing company in London by the name of “Saddam City.” The New York Public Libraries listed my novel as one of the best novels of the last century. Amnesty International chose 37 writers from all over the world, including me, to celebrate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. We wrote short stories, and the collection was published in London, the United States, Canada, Spain and Turkey. The book was translated in more than 20 languages.
–MAHMOUD SAEED, Chicago, Illinois