Born in Beirut, Alawiya Sobh studied English and Arabic Literature at the Lebanese University. After graduating in 1978, she pursued a career in teaching and also began publishing articles and short stories, at first in An-Nida newspaper and then in An-Nahar. In 1986, after a spell as cultural editor, she became editor-in-chief of Al-Hasnaa, a popular Arabic women’s magazine. In the same year she wrote her first book, a collection of short stories called Slumber of Days. In the early 1990s, she became editor-in-chief of women’s magazine Snob Al-Hasnaa’. She published her first novel, Maryam Al-Hakaya, in 2002, and has gone on to write three more prize-winning and critically acclaimed works, which have been translated into several languages.
For her literary accomplishments and innovative writing, Alawiya received the Sultan Qaboos prize in Oman in 2007, and in 2009 served on the judging panel of the Beirut39 competition. Her novels Dunya and Ismuhu Al-Gharam were both longlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction in 2008 and 2010 respectively. In 2016, an eponymous award named the “Alawiya Sobh Literary Critique Award” was launched at Abdelmalek Essaâdi University in Tétouan for participants whose critiques centre around her work.