Iris Briggs Sharaf is British by birth and was born in 1930. She got educated in state schools, and started her work life in London at Harrods Book Department and Library then at Foyles. She married in her twenties to an Egyptian professor of geography and then immigrated to Egypt where Iris spent the greater part of her life with periods of five and four years respectively in Libya and Sudan, with extended visits to Saudi Arabia. Iris worked many years of her life at the WHO regional office in Alexandria.
Much of her writing, though by no means all, concerns the Middle East, of which she absorbed considerable knowledge. Speaking Arabic reasonably well, mixing at all levels of society in all these countries – this has facilitated her writing about them, both fiction and nonfiction.
Iris was the matriarch of a large Egyptian family, children, grandchildren and even great grandchildren. She passed away in 2016 leaving behind a list of unpublished work.
As the title shows, it has two main subjects: WWII and Potters Bar – which is my hometown, almost but not quite a suburb of London. The global public already has extensive knowledge of WWII, yet the same cannot be said of Potters Bar. Outside Britain, there are probably no more than a few thousand...