Mohamedou Ould Salahi was born in Rosso, Mauritania, the ninth of twelve children of a came lherder. His family moved to the capital of Nouakchott when he was a child, where he attended school and earned a scholarship to study electrical engineering at Gerhard-Mercator University in Duisburg / Germany. In 2001, he was living and working in his home country of Mauritania when he was detained and renditioned to Jordan, beginning an ordeal that he would chronicle in his internationally-bestselling Guantánamo Diary. The manuscript, which he wrote in his isolation cell in the detention camp at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, remained classified for almost eight years and was finally released, with substantial redactions, in 2013. It was first published in the United States and United Kingdom in January, 2015, and has since been published in twenty-five languages. After fifteen years of detention, Mohamedou was released on October 17th, 2016 to Mauritania. The following year he published a “restored edition” of Guantánamo Diary, filling in the U.S. government’s redactions, and in February 2021 his first novel, The Actual True Story of Ahmed and Zarga, published by Ohio University Press.