Atef Abu Saif was born in Jabalia refugee camp in the Gaza Strip in 1973. He holds a BA from Birzeit University, an MA from the University of Bradford, and a PhD in political and social science from the European University Institute in Florence.
Atef is the author of five novels: Suspended Life (2014), shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, Shadows in the Memory (2007), The Tale of the Harvest Night (1999), The Salty Grape of Paradise (2003, 2006), Snowball (2000), along with two collections of short stories: Still Life: Stories from Gaza Time (2013) and Everything is Normal (2004). Atef was also editor for the anthology The Book of Gaza: A City in Short Fiction, which featured ten short stories by ten different authors from the Gaza Strip. His work has been featured in various Arab and international press including Al Jazeera, Associated Press, New York Times, The Guardian, and The Sunday Times, amongst others. He is a regular contributor to several Palestinian and Arabic newspapers and journals; including Seyast Magazine published by the Institute of Public Policy in Ramallah and a weekly article in Al Ayyam Newspaper in Palestine.
Atef teaches political science in Al Azhar University of Gaza.