Gilles Gauthier was born in 1944 in a village near the French city Bordeaux. He moved to Algeria in 1966 as part of the Franco-Algerian cooperation. After fifteen years of teaching Spanish and French in Algeria, Morocco and France, and after studying Arabic in the National Institute of Oriental Languages and Cultures in Paris, he joined the Ministry of Foreign Affairs 1982. There, he held various responsibilities in Iraq, Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt and Lebanon, before being appointed ambassador in Yemen. Gilles Gauthier has made the Egyptian writer Alaa El Aswany known in France by translating his works to the French language. He is now the adviser of Jack Lang, the president of the Institute of the Arab world. As such, he has contributed to the success of the exhibition "Once upon a time the Orient Express" and is now in charge of organizing a major exhibition on the Arabic Language theme.