(he/ him) Khaled Alesmael’s debut novel Selamlik سلملك was first published in Sweden 2018 and Germany 2020 to wide acclaim, selling several thousand copies. Syrian-born Khaled draws on his personal experience of a country at war to write about a queer refugee’s experience through a homoerotic perspective. He published his second book Gateway to the Sea باب البحر in Swedish in September 2020. Khaled was a writer and journalist in residence in Faberllull for LGBTQ writers in Spain 2020, AIR Litteratur Västra Götaland/ Sweden 2019, Fundacionvalparaiso in Spain 2018, International Journalist Program in Germany 2017, Vilnius University in Lithuania 2016, CMPF in Florence 2015, The French Cultural Center Paris 2010, International Visitor Program USA 2009, The Danish Cultural Center Copenhagen 2009 and 2008.
A filmmaker won a special award for his short Coffee with Sukkar at Gothenburg Film Festival 2019. In his new home Sweden, he worked for Sveriges Television and Radio, Sweden’s public service broadcaster. He had previously worked for more than fifteen years in the Middle East and Northern Africa and was co-founder and programme manager of Syria Tomorrow, one of the first-generation private media in Syria in 2005. In 2009 he was correspondent for Radio France International from Damascus.
Khaled claimed asylum in Sweden in 2014 and was granted citizenship. He is now based in London and teaches Arabic Literature at Gothenburg University. He graduated from Damascus University with a degree in English Literature in 2006.
His favourite writers are E. M. Forster, Tennessee Williams, and Patti Smith
Khaled gives public talks to universities and journalists’ organisations around the world. He specialises in talking about freedom of expression in conflict areas, migration, and LGBTQ+ issues. He also mentors’ students about sexuality and identity. Khaled is fluent in Arabic and English, not bad in Swedish and is learning French.