born in 1949 in Lebanon, has lived in France since 1976 as a journalist and author of novels, essays and opera librettos. He has visited over sixty countries and written on issues relating to identity and relations between the West and the Arab World. His books have been translated into more than fifty languages. In 1993 he won the Prix Goncourt for »Le Rocher de Tanios«. In 2011, he was elected to the Académie française. His most recent book is »Le naufrage des civilisations« (2019).