Julia Simpson Urrutia
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Julia was born and raised in California. At the age of 16, Julia went to Switzerland to study French. Julia met girls from all over the world, including Saudi Arabia, Iran, South America and Pakistan. Returning to the USA, Julia attended the Monterrey Institute of Foreign Studies, where she planned to go into international journalism. She studied French, Spanish and Arabic and met her future husband, a Saudi.

Receiving a BA in French, Julia graduated and went to France to study, but while in France, she realised that she was a Muslim. She believed she had to marry a Muslim and at that moment, her male Saudi friend from the Monterrey Institute proposed marriage to her via the telephone.

After her husband and Julia both got degrees, her husband went to Saudi Arabia to attempt to gain permission for him to bring her, an American, into the country.

Eventually, he was successful and in Saudi Arabia, after a year as an English writing instructor at King Abdul Aziz University and the birth of her first child. Julia had a literary career writing for the Saudi Gazette, the Riyadh Daily and the Arab News newspapers as well as the English Service of the Saudi Broadcasting System. She wrote two more books that were published by American Trust Publications: A Wicked Wazir and The Jinn in the Clock. Julia also wrote for magazines in England and the USA and sold two stories set in Saudi Arabia to the BBC World Service. During the First Gulf War, Julia worked as a stringer for a US newspaper. Consequently, her articles were aired over the U.S. armed forces radio.

Julia returned to the USA in the year 2000 with both of her children and began teaching. First, she taught at Walter Colton Middle School and then moved to Sacramento where she taught writing at Cosumnes River College for several years. After that, she moved to Fresno and now teaches at Fresno City College. Since returning to the USA, she has written for Aziza Magazine and the Monterey Peninsula Herald newspaper among other publications.  Burning Boats, the Birth of Muslim Spain was published by Beacon Books in 2017.