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Sahar Mandour

Cultural Reporter and columnist – As-Safir Newspaper, Lebanon

I was born in Beirut in 1977, to an Egyptian father and a Lebanese mother. I studied psychology at L'Universite Saint Joseph in Beirut and, after publishing a few freelance articles with the As-Safir newspaper, was hired full-time as a journalist in 1998.

I have since been editor of the youth weekly supplement, an investigative journalist, editor of the media monitoring page, as well as editor of the local non-political department.

My first novel, I'll Draw a Star on Vienna's Forehead, was published in Beirut in 2007, and a second edition was published with the Egyptian publishing house "Dar Al-Shorouq". I followed it up with A Beiruti Love, and 32, which were both bestsellers at the 2009-2010 Arab Book Fair in Beirut. My fourth novel, Mina, is about a young gay actress living in Beirut.

Throughout my experience at As-Safir, I have focused mainly on campaigns demanding the adoption of particular laws: one which criminalizes domestic violence, another which allows women married to foreigners to grant their nationality to their husbands and children, a third demanding the abolition of the sponsorship system for bringing in foreign workers in order to free the work contract from the shackles of slavery, and a fourth which calls for lifting sanctions on the practice of homosexuality in Lebanon.