Said Kashua (1975-) was born in the village of Tira, the second of four sons. His father worked as a bank teller and his mother was a teacher. When he was 15, he was accepted to the Israel Arts and Sciences Academy High School in Jerusalem, a boarding school that is very highly regarded in the country. "Yes, I passed some tough admissions exams," he says, "but I've always harbored the suspicion that I was nonetheless accepted because of statistics, as the token Arab." Several stories in "Dancing Arabs" describe his experiences trying to fit in as an Arab in a Jewish dormitory.
Kashua attended the 2012 International Writer's Festival in Jerusalem despite Palestinian calls for a boycott.