Maria Oleynik (MLitt) is an expert in the Middle East as well as an avid and endlessly curious traveller, linguist and freelance translator, specialising in Persian. She also regularly translates from her native Russian, as well as Arabic. With the first trip to the Middle East back in 2003, she has since been returning regularly and ever expanding her knowledge of the region. She has studied in Yemen, Lebanon and Egypt, and was hired to translate a biography of a Libyan politician from Arabic, while based in Tripoli, Libya. She has studied Persian at the University of Esfahan and Dekhoda Centre for Persian Studies in Tehran University. In 2019 she decided to move to Iran, where she is currently studying for a degree in Persian Literature in the University of Shiraz. Having updated a number of travel guides for Bradt, she is experienced and methodical in her approach with an eye for tiny detail (ie: that miniature plaque across the street you did not know the meaning of) and discoveries she likes to share with the readers.