Mahmoud Saeed was born in Mosul, Iraq, in 1938. In 1963 he was imprisoned on political charges for a year, to be followed by three years of suspension from employment. The detentions continued until his sixth and final incarceration in 1980. In 1985 Saeed emigrated to the United Arab Emirates, and since 1999 he has been a political refugee in the US. He has published nine books in Arabic and received many literary awards.