Felicia Campbell began her adult life as a 17-year-old private in the United States Army, deploying to Iraq as a member of the initial invasion in 2003. Her experiences there transformed her perspective on the world. She fell in love with the Iraqi people and the warmth and hospitality of Middle Eastern culture over steaming cups of tea and plates of grilled chicken, inspiring a lifelong passion for food as an essential human pleasure that can open the door for intimate connections, even under the most dire circumstances. She has spent the last decade exploring these themes, earning a master's degree in food studies with a focus on Middle Eastern culture from New York University and sharing stories from the region as an International Association of Culinary Professionals award-nominated writer and staff editor at Saveur and as a freelance journalist. She now lives in Muscat, where she is the executive features editor at the Times of Oman.