Odeh Bisharat was born in 1958 to a displaced family originally from Ma’alul, an Arab village destroyed in Israel’s 1948-49 War of Independence. He lives in Yafiah, in the Galilee, with his wife and three children. He has been involved in political and social activity since his youth, first as head of the National Committee of Arab-Israeli High School Students and later as head of the Arab Students’ Organization at Haifa University. He has been active in various Jewish-Arab movements and in the early 2000s he was secretary general of the Hadash party (Democratic Front for Peace and Equality).
As a journalist, Bisharat worked as editor of the youth newspaper Al-Jad and has written for Al-Ittihad, and he is an op-ed columnist for the Hebrew daily Haaretz. Bisharat has published three novels: The Streets of Zatunia (Arabic, 2007, 2010; Hebrew, 2009; Finnish, 2015), Donia (Arabic, 2016; Hebrew, 2019), and Late Tammam Makehoul (Arabic, 2018; Hebrew: forthcoming). He has also written a children’s book, Don’t Steal My Turn (Hebrew, 2019), and for the theater. He won the Ministry of Culture Prize for Arabic Fiction (2016).