Samar Yazbek is a Syrian writer and journalist. She was born in Jableh, Syria, near Latakia, in 1970, and studied Arabic literature at Latakia university. She has written in a wide variety of genres - novels, short stories, film scripts, television dramas, film and TV criticism. Yazbek has been a prominent voice in support of human rights and more specifically women's rights in Syria. In 2012, she launched Women Now for Development, an NGO based in France that aims at empowering Syrian women economically and socially.
In 2010, Yazbek was selected as one of the Beirut39, a group of 39 Arab writers under the age of 40 chosen through a contest organized by the Hay Festival. In 2011, she took part in the popular uprising against the Assad regime, and was forced to exile a few months later. In 2012, she was chosen for the prestigious PEN/Pinter Prize "International writer of courage", in recognition of her book In the Crossfire: Diaries of the Syrian Revolution. She was also awarded the Swedish Tucholsky Prize, and the Dutch Oxfam/PEN, in the same year. In the same year, Samar tried to move back to the North of Syria, and settle in the areas that were freed from the Assad regime. However, in 2013, she settled in Paris instead because of the growing threatening presence of ISIS in Syria.
Samar Yazbek published three collections of short stories, four novels, and a mémoire on the Syrian Revolution. Three of her books were translated to several languages