Jonah Pierce graduated from Harvard College, where he studied mostly literature, psychology, philosophy, and film. After college, his first job brought him to New York City, where he was working during the attacks of September 11 – an event that profoundly marked him and deepened his interest in global affairs and the Middle East. Almost fifteen years later, Jonah was moved by headlines about the tragedy in Syria and the threat of ISIS, and wondered how these developments might feel from the perspective of a Syrian refugee. He began to envision a young Syrian woman fleeing fear, violence, and tragic loss, and finding a new life in the United States. Thus was the character of Anissa Toma born, and The Love of Antioch series recounts her saga.