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About the Author

Mohed Altrad was born into a Bedouin tribe in Syria. After earning a PhD in computer science at the University of Montpellier and working for the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, he founded Groupe Altrad, a world leader in the concrete and scaffolding industry, and was named the 2015 EY World Entrepreneur of the Year. He has published three other novels in French, L'Hypoth se de Dieu, La Promesse d'Annah, and the forthcoming La Reconstruction from Actes Sud.


Praise for Badawi

"Mohed Altrad's debut novel Badawi begins in the Cold War-era Middle East, where the Bedouin tradition of a nomadic life struggles against modernity . . . In this tale of a boy caught between worlds, Altrad brings a sparse, lyrical quality to his prose that at times verges on the poetic . . . With its focus on the themes of abandonment, loss, success, and redemption among Syrians at home and abroad, the novel sheds light on the refugee crisis that has dominated headlines over the past two years . . . Necessary."--Los Angeles Review of Books "Badawi is less a celebration of rags-to-riches success than a story about the pain of being caught between two worlds."--Forbes "Poetically depicts a Bedouin boy's extended coming of age and the uneasy navigation of his transition from provincial Syria to the West."--Publishers Weekly "With precision, beauty, and fierceness, Mohed Altrad tells the story of a young Bedouin setting off to conquer life . . . A fine book . . . From the beginning, one notes the fresh style, which gives illumination to this poor boy's fate . . . A subtle tension takes hold in these pages, a pregnant atmosphere . . . And so it is that we're taken in by the story of Ma ouf, launched along his amazing trajectory."--La Marseillaise (France) "French literature has been enriched by its first Bedouin writer."--Entreprendre (France) "A book built on elusive sands and quiet suffering, filled with the flavors of the Middle East and modesty that masks emotion, like heavy damask . . . A good novel."--Midi Libre (France) "Accessible to all."--Le Monde (France) "This debut novel, a story of learning, written with simplicity and modesty, rings incredibly true: indeed it seems imbued with the experience both rich and painful of Mohed Altrad, a Syrian who has been settled in France for a long time, of living in exile."--Notes Bibliographiques (France)

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