Tarek Eltayeb was born in 1959 in Cairo of Sudanese parents. He grew up in Cairo and Al-Arish, Sinaï. Since 1984 he has lived in Vienna where he studied Social and Economic Science at the University of Vienna. He is a lecturer at the International Management Centre of Krems, Austria and also works as a translator. During his time as a student he worked as a newspaperman for the Kronen Zeitung, an experience which has become an inspiration for some of his literary texts where he presents a different outlook on the situation of newspapermen. He has published two collections of poetry. His second novel, Städte ohne Dattelpalmen (Cities without date palm trees), has put him on the literary map in German speaking countries.