The son of a Saudi Arabian father, and an Iraqi mother, Mounif was born and brought up in Amman, Jordan, then moved in 1952 to study law in Iraq. His political activity while a student there, as a member of the emerging Arab Ba'ath party, cost him his residence and education in Baghdad. He was expelled from the country in 1955. From Baghdad, Mounif moved to Cairo during Nasser's pan-Arab nationalist drive and then, in 1958 to General Tito's Yugoslavia, where he got his doctorate degree in oil economics in 1961. He worked in the oil industry in Syria (1961-73), then moved to Lebanon to begin a career in Journalism. He moved to Iraq to be an editor of Oil And Development magazine from 1975-1981. He lived in France for five years and returned to Syria in 1986. He was 40 before he began writing novels. He was married with four children.