Karim Shamsi-Basha immigrated from Damascus to the United States in 1984, at the age of 18. He attended the University of Tennessee and acquired a degree in Mechanical Engineering. After that, he pursued what he loved, photojournalism and writing. In 2021, his children’s book, The Cat Man of Aleppo, won the 2021 Caldecott Honor, the Middle East Book Award and five starred reviews from Publisher’s Weekly and others. Presently Karim works as Food & Culture Columnist with The Star Ledger in New Jersey. His work has appeared in National Geographic Traveler, Sports Illustrated, Coastal Living, People, Time, Southern Living, NJ.com, al.com, Aramco World magazine, New York Times, Washington Post and many others. He strives to bridge the gap between East and West, and aims to contribute to a truthful view of his Arab and Muslim heritage, one that includes peace, beauty and compassion. He is a single father to Zade, Dury, and Demi.