Join us



Saleem Haddad

Photo: Sami Haddad

Saleem Haddad

Saleem Haddad was born in Kuwait City in 1983 to a Lebanese-Palestinian father and an Iraqi-German mother, and educated in Jordan, Canada, and the United Kingdom. He has worked as an aid worker with Médecins Sans Frontières in Yemen, Syria, and Iraq, and currently lives in London, where he advises on inclusion of refugees, women, and young people in the transition and peace processes of the Arab Spring.

All Saleem Haddad's books

Upcoming events

October 21, 07:00pm
Join Saleem Haddad to discuss his debut novel “Guapa” Friday 21st October 19:00 at London Piccadilly.
For reclaiming queer Arab identity.
February 24, 07:00pm
ALEF Bookstores is delighted to announce that Saleem Haddad is joining us for a much desired discussion about his novel Guapa.
London, e8 4aa United Kingdom
May 5, 07:00pm
Join us for an evening with Saleem Haddad, who will be reading from his novel Guapa.

Latest reviews

  • If you’re searching for something new to read, look no further… Saleem Haddad has been awarded the Polari First Book Prize 2017 for his first novel Guapa, and was handed the honour during a ceremony held at London’s Southbank Centre as part of the London Literature...
    — Gay Times, Oct 17 2017
  • CELEBRATING LONDON PRIDE: LOVE STARTS HERE “I hailed a taxi outside Maj’s house and got into the backseat, as Teta directed me to do when riding in taxis alone. The man behind the wheel was young, though I couldn’t make out his age: perhaps 18, maybe 20. He was...
    — Bookblast, Jul 9 2017
  • Guapa, Saleem Haddad’s debut novel, was published by Europa in 2016. It tells the story of a young gay man called Rasa living in an unnamed country during the aftermath of the Arab Spring. Set over one day and littered with flashbacks, it explores Rasa’s own personal turmoil...
    — Open Democracy, Jul 3 2017
  • 50 years ago in July 1967, the Sexual Offences Act decriminalised homosexual behaviour between men over the age of 21 in England and Wales. To commemorate this landmark Act, we’ve put together a list of important gay literature from the past 100 years, including classics, debuts,...
    — VHSmith, Jun 23 2017
  • (...) The books on promotion include contemporary works such as Guapa by Salem Haddad (Europa Editions), which the chain has sold more than 1,200 copies of since it appeared in its Fresh Talent promotion in January. The novel gives “a unique view of gay sub-cultures from a...
    — The Bookseller, Apr 23 2017
  • One of my favorite exercises while at Miami University’s Creative Writing program was studying first lines from novels. “The morning begins with shame” is a new contender that will surely make its way into the canon of best first lines. It comes from Guapa, the debut novel...
    — Moe Fakhro, Apr 6 2017
  • Guapa, a freewheeling and incendiary first novel by Saleem Haddad, is set in an Arab country familiar to many from the newspapers, even though its author won’t let us place it on a map. The son of a Lebanese-Palestinian father and an Iraqi-German mother, Haddad is himself a...
    — London Review of Books, Feb 9 2017
  • Guapa portrays a gay man struggling with shame amid the wreckage of a failed uprising in an unnamed Arab country. The author explains how this ‘fluent and passionate’ debut is and isn’t his own story
    — The Guardian, Dec 16 2016
  • Some of the best books I’ve ever read could be designated ‘gay novels’ and yet it’s a term that raises a lot of questions and one I hesitate to use. It’s something I’ve wanted to examine for a long time, so I am delighted that Saleem Haddad, author of superb debut...
    — The Literary Sofa with Isabel Costello, Nov 30 2016
  • “Guapa” is ultimately an inspiring novel written in a vigorous and convincing voice. Rasa forcefully asserts his individuality outside of any stereotypes or expectations of how any society wants him to conform. It was an immense joy and pleasure to read this book.
    — The Lonesome Reader, Nov 21 2016
  • A Middle-Eastern capital caught in the revolutionary wave of the Arab Spring. A day in the life of a young man disillusioned with both East and West and struggling to find a place for himself in a society ruled by hypocrisy and contradictions. Rasa works as an interpreter for...
    — The Literary Sofa, Nov 16 2016
  • This day in a life of a gay man under a post-Arab spring dictatorship is as compelling as it is insightful
    — The Guardian, Oct 28 2016