Jihad Darwish was born in 1951 in Marwaniyé, a small village in southern Lebanon. His childhood was filled with the stories, poetry and traditional tales from the East, that were told by his mother and other women in the neighbourhood.
In 1961, he lived in the ancient city of Sidon, where the storytelling tradition is still alive. In its narrow streets, neighbours would spend their mornings leaning out of their windows and talking to one another. In the cafes they would tell each other about their dreams and nightmares (true fairy tales) over a coffee with cardamom.
After studying in Beirut and Montpellier, Jihad became a journalist, a profession that he continued from 1975 to 1983. That year, he moved to France where he became an Arabic teacher before eventually becoming a storyteller in 1984.
Since then, he has been conducting animated storytelling evenings which include tales from One Thousand and One Nights, which he always tells with wisdom and a smile. He also works in libraries, schools and even prisons. He conducts workshops in creative writing as well as training courses in the art of storytelling.
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