Watercolour stain of white paint
Watercolour stain of white paint

With a DNA profile that lights up like a satellite photograph of earth, Saara El-Arifi's heritage is intrinsically linked to the themes she explores in her writing.

She was raised in the Middle East until her formative years, when her family swapped the Abu Dhabi desert for the English Peak District hills. This change of climate had a significant impact on her growth—not physically, she’s nearly 6ft—and she learned what it was to be Black in a white world.

Saara knew she was a storyteller from the moment she told her first lie. Though her stories have developed beyond the ramblings of a child, she still appreciates the thrill of a well-told tale.

THE FINAL STRIFE is Saara El-Arifi's debut novel, the first part of a trilogy inspired by Ghanaian folklore and Arabian myths.

Picture of Saara El-Arifi, a black woman looking up at the sky
Watercolour drawing of a book with flags flying out, including Ghana, Turkey, Sudan, Yemen and UK

Credit: Mustafa Raee

WHO IS SHE?