Samira Azzam was born in Acre, Palestine in 1927. After completing her basic education, she found work as a schoolteacher at 16, and was later appointed headmistress of a girls’ school. She was still in her teens when her stories began to appear in the journal Falastin under the pen name Fatat al-Sahel, or Girl of the Coast. When Azzam and her family were forced to flee Palestine in 1948, they went first to Lebanon; in the years that followed, Azzam would work as a journalist around the region. Azzam was also an acclaimed translator, bringing English-language classics into Arabic as she published the stories that have since appeared in five collections. In her brief life, she translated works by Pearl Buck, Sinclair Lewis, Somerset Maugham, Bernard Shaw, John Steinbeck, Edith Wharton, and others. The collection Out of Time, translated by Ranya Abdelrahman, is the first time a book-length work of Azzam's has appeared in English.