Stefan Weidner, born in 1967 in Cologne, became interested in languages, literatures, philosophy and the Near and Middle East at an early age. He studied philosophy and Arabic in Göttingen, Damascus, Berkeley, and Bonn. Since then he has published numerous translations of Arabic poetry and his own essays, articles and reviews on oriental literatures and cultural reporting from the region. His own narrative-essayistic work includes the books Mohammedanische Versuchungen (Mohammedan Temptations) (2004), Fes (2006), Ins Griechenland des Ostens (In the Greece of the East) (2014), and Fluchthelferin Poesie (Escape Aid Poetry) (2017). In 2001–2016 he was editor-in-chief of the cultural magazine of the Goethe-Institut Fikrun wa Fann (published in Arabic, English, Farsi, and German). Since 2017 he has been a freelance writer in Cologne. Most recently, he has published Jenseits des Westens (Beyond the West) (2018), 1001 Buch (1001 Book) (2019), and Ground Zero (2021). He has received numerous awards, including the Clemens Brentano Prize (2006), Johann Heinrich Voß Prize (2007), Paul Scheerbart Prize (2014), and Sheikh Hamad Prize (2018).
Stefan Weidner was a resident at Tarabya Cultural Academy from February to May 2020 and again from October to November 2021.