Soleïman Adel Guémar was born and raised in Algiers. He was heading for an army career when he quit his engineering studies to spend two years in Paris working in publishing. He returned to Algiers in 1991 amid signs of democratization, in order to work as a journalist, initially on L'Événement and then freelance. Besides reporting on corruption and human rights abuses, he also published numerous stories and won two national poetry prizes. A generous selection of his poems appeared in the Parisian journal Algérie Littérature / Action in 2002. By the end of that year he had had to leave Algeria to seek safety for himself and his family in the UK.