Youssef Rakha

Long: Born, raised and based in Cairo, Youssef Rakha is a novelist, poet, essayist, literary critic, journalist and photographer who writes in both Arabic and English, focusing on post-millennial Cairo not only as a setting but also as a possible perspective on the contemporary world and present-day global civilisation. He is represented by Felicity Trew at Caroline Sheldon agency, London. A graduate of Hull University, England, Youssef juggles his writing with various responsibilities at the Cairo-based English-language Al-Ahram Weekly and edits The Sultan’s Seal, a literature and photography site in Arabic and English, at yrakha.com. Two of his three Arabic novels, The Book of the Sultan’s Seal and The Crocodiles, appeared in English in 2015, with Interlink and the New York City-based Seven Stories, respectively. His writing is featured in a variety of outlets including The Atlantic, Lettre International and The White Review. He was among the 39 best Arab writers under 40 selected for the Hay Festival Beirut39 Festival in 2010, and his first novel, The Book of the Sultan’s Seal, won the 2015 Banipal Seif Ghobash Prize for Paul Starkey’s translation. Youssef’s exhibition “Cairo-Alexandria/Berlin” was held at the Geothe Institute in 2006, and he has since published photo stories on Panorama Mada Masr and Mashalla News as well as individual images on F-Stop Magazine and P1xels, among other outlets, providing cover art for books too. Ongoing photo work of his can be seen on The Cairo Project at cai14.com.

Youssef Rakha