Abbas El-Zein
Biography

Biography

Abbas El-Zein

Abbas El-Zein was born and raised in Beirut. He was twelve years old when the Lebanese war broke out in 1975. He went to the Mission Laïque Francaise school  and studied civil engineering at the American University of Beirut.

He left Lebanon in 1986, at the age of 23, and has since lived in the UK, France, Lebanon and Australia. Abbas has published essays and short stories about war, identity and displacement for HEAT Magazine, The New York Times, The Guardian Newspaper, The Age, Meanjin, Australian Book Review and Tank Magazine, among others. His first novel, Tell the Running Water, is set in Beirut and tells the intersecting stories of two young men and a woman coming to terms with the violence around them. His memoir, Leave to Remain, is an autobiographical meditation war, identity and East-West relations, and won a New South Wales Premier literary award in 2010. The Secret Maker of the World, a collection of short stories about violence, justice, love and loss, set in different continents and eras, is published by the University of Queensland Press in early 2014. His latest book, Bullet, Paper, Rock – A Memoir of Words and Wars is published Upswell Publishing on 3 April 2024.

Abbas is Professor of Environmental Engineering at the University of Sydney and has written on environmental and climate change issues.