Zaheda Ghani and her family arrived in Australia from Afghanistan as refugees in the 1980s. At nine years old Zaheda, also known as Zoe, handwrote her first novel using a HB pencil, in a scented diary with a lock and key. The heart of what she wrote back then developed over many years to become her debut novel, Pomegranate & Fig, which was shortlisted for the Richell Prize for Emerging Writers. Zaheda was also a recipient of the Western Sydney Emerging Writers Fellowship. Zaheda served on the board of Australia for UNHCR, the private sector partner of the UN Refugee Agency from 2017 to 2021. She is now an Ambassador for Australia for UNHCR and has an active interest in UNHCR’s humanitarian work. Zaheda lives in Sydney with her husband.