Matthew Leeming read first Theology and then Management at Oxford. In between, he ran a tile manufacturing business with factories in England and India. He first visited Afghanistan in 1993 to help re-start the world's oldest tile factory in the Friday Mosque in Herat. Since then he has re-visited the country many times and has spent every summer since 2001 travelling there. His articles in 'The Spectator' have been syndicated internationally and he has also written on Afghanistan for the 'Times', 'Sunday Telegraph' and the literary journal 'Arete'. He has lectured and broadcast on Afghanistan all over the world and is currently writing a travel book on the country for 'Pan Macmillan'. His writing has been widely praised and he was described by the poet Craig Raine as a new literary star - frank, funny and politically incorrect. He is also chief executive of a printing business.