Haifa Bitar (هيفاء بيطار) was born in 1958 in Latakia, Syria. Her father taught Arabic in the local high school, her mother taught philosophy. She graduated two years ahead of her class from secondary school, attended college, then took three years of training to qualify as an optician. She completed her studies in 1985 and in the same year married an engineer, like herself a Greek Orthodox Christian. The next year they had a daughter and, soon after, separated.
She is the author of nine novels, including A Woman of this Modern Age and eleven short story collections, including Dusk and Writing. She is a regular contributor of literary reviews to numerous Arabic-language newspapers and often appears as a guest on Arabic cultural television programs. She also contributes stories to Banipal, the English-language journal of Arabic writing.
Among her awards is the Abu Al-Qasem Al-Shabi Prize, awarded in Tunisia in 2003 for her collection The Whore. Bitar is also a practicing ophthalmologist at the National Hospital in Latakia.
(From Emirates Airline Festival of Literature website)