The Writer’s Block: Qais Akbar Omar

by    /  March 5, 2015  / No comments

In this edition of The Writer’s Block, Afghan writer Qais Akbar Omar talks about the process of writing his memoir, A Fort of Nine Towers.

Qais Akbar Omar is the author of A Fort of Nine Towers, published in more than twenty languages.

Omar was born in 1982 in Kabul, Afghanistan. He has a BA in journalism from Kabul University. He studied business at Brandeis University and has an MFA in creative writing from Boston University. In 2007, he was a visiting scholar at the University of Colorado. Currently he is a Scholars at Risk Fellow at Harvard University.

Omar is the fourth generation of his family to be in the carpet business. He has lectured on Afghan carpets in Afghanistan, Europe, and the United States.

For the 2012 anthology, That Mad Game: Growing up in a War Zone, Omar contributed the lead essay, A Talib In Love. He has also written for The Atlantic and op-eds for The New York Times. He is the coauthor, with Stephen Landrigan, of Shakespeare in Kabul.

Omar serves as a goodwill envoy for Aschiana Foundation in Kabul and for the Initiative to Educate Afghan Women.

  1. About The Writer’s Block
  2. The Writer’s Block is an ongoing video series of interviews with visiting writers at City of Asylum/Pittsburgh. In these Q&A’s, conducted on Sampsonia Way, writers sit down with us to discuss literature, their craft, and career.
  3. View all previous interviews →

About the Author

Sampsonia Way is an online magazine sponsored by City of Asylum/Pittsburgh that seeks to protect and advocate for writers who may be endangered, to educate the public about threats to writers and literary expression, and to create a community in which endangered writers thrive and literary culture is a valued part of life.

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